One of the most consistent complaints I hear from truck drivers is about back pain. The message was loud and clear in our Is Trucking Good for your Health? report.
Truckers are four times more likely to suffer from back pain than your average person. Unfortunately, it’s something that comes with the job.
Long periods of inactivity and sitting in the same position will take a toll on anyone’s spine. Add to that the continual bumping and jostling caused by uneven road surfaces that truck drivers often experience, and the pain isn’t going away.
Luckily, there are certain things truck drivers can do to ease back pain. Here’s three ideas to stop that niggling pain in your lower back becoming something more serious.
Stretching can make you more supple, as long as you do it the right way. Here’s two stretches to get you started:
- Stand with your feet together, breathe in, and raise your arms high above your head. Hold. Then slowly lower them down again while breathing out
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend forward from your waist and let your arms hang down. Hold. Then slowly straighten, keeping your core tight and back straight
Your core strength plays a big role in the health of your spine (the stronger the muscles in your stomach, the better your spine is supported). I’m not saying you need to launch into a routine of sit-ups overnight. What I am suggesting however, is remembering to hold your stomach muscles tight and keeping your posture upright whatever you’re doing – sitting, walking, whatever.
When you’re ready to move on from there, try some simple core strengthening exercises, like planks (start with your knees and forearms on the ground) or leg lifts (lying on your front, head on hands and lifting your legs up and down). Or why not try a bit of yoga?
I know. You’ve heard it before. The bigger you are, the more serious back-related issues can be. But it’s true. Shift some of that extra weight and you’ll instantly place less stress on your back. Walking more and eating a bit less is a good place to start…
These are just guidelines. If you’re suffering from back pain it’s best to speak with a doctor.
If you have any tips to help relieve back pain, please share. We’d love to hear them.