We’re all used to having back pain as truck drivers, unfortunately. Sore backs happen to us more than four times as much as they do to the average person. And ugh, believe me when I say, it’s no picnic. In fact, pain in the back is a HUGE pain in the butt. Sitting on our rear-ends all day makes our lower spines all sorts of out of whack. It’s not just the time on the road though, it’s the posture as well! Truckers are notorious for not having the greatest posture, which can often lead to some major back issues. And, although it might not be 100% avoidable, there are a couple easy steps you can take to at least alleviate some of that pain. Below we’ll take a look at some of the easiest ways to alleviate back pain as a truck driver.
5 Ways to Avoid Back Pain as a Truck Driver
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1. Start the drive with style
You’d be surprised how just finding a nice way of sitting when you begin can positively affect the outcome of the entire journey. First off, don’t sit on your wallet or whatever else might be in those pockets. If you don’t have a seat pad that offers additional support you should consider investing in memory foam, heated kind. If you feel like treating yourself, splurging on those fancy massage seat covers is a great purchase as a driver. If you don’t have a seat cover for comfort, you can roll up your towel or pillow behind your lower back for some support. Lumbar support will ensure that you’re keeping up good posture and will, in turn, decrease the chances that you’ll suffer from back pain in the future.
2. Frequently flail about
Sitting still is terrible on your back. Adjust yourself frequently. Try moving your seat slightly every 20 minutes or so. This might seem simple, but one of the biggest causes of back pain is staying in one place. Sitting in one position will put a lot of pressure on your spinal column, which can eventually lead to back pain. One of the best ways to combat back pain as a truck driver is to change your sitting position as often as you can.
3. Ice, ice baby
If you’re suffering from back pain, holding ice to the area for about 20 minutes can do a lot to numb sore tissues, decrease tissue damage, reduce swelling, and slow the nerve impulses. Pro tip: wrap the ice pack in a towel or shirt and do not directly put the ice to the area. Ice works well because the majority of back pain comes with inflammation. Try alternating your icing with heat therapy to combat back pain even more. Keep a cooler filled with ice packs in your rig. Not only can you help refrigerate food, but you can also keep your back in top shape!
4. Get revitalized at rest stops
Exercise is a top-notch way to combat back pain. At the very least, get out of the truck as often as you can to stretch and work the hamstrings. This should be done about two times a day, in fact. We’ll talk about stretching out your back later in the article, but one of the best ways to combat back pain as a truck driver
Here are a few basic positions you can take to help with back pain:
Various Exercises to Alleviate Back Pain
Listen Here! Exclusive tips from a physical therapist!
Neck and shoulder stretches: Stiff necks and stiff backs go hand and hand.
- Flexion Stretches can be done while driving. All you need to do is gently bend the head forward while bringing the chin toward the chest until you can feel the stretch.
- Lay on your back, pull both your knees to your heart and flex your head forward at the same time (in a ball position.)
Hip and Gluteus Stretches: We sit on our butts all day behind the wheel. Our hips and backsides play a huge role in spine flexibility.
- Stand with feet shoulder-length apart, take a small step back with your right foot, bend the left knee and shift weight on to your right hip. Then while keeping that right leg straight, bend forward more and reach down the right leg until a stretch in the outer hip is felt.
What are some ways you deal with back pain as a truck driver? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below!