Back pain is common in our country. Over 80% of Americans have complained of back pain at some point in their lives. For truck drivers, back injuries are even more common and the pain can make it impossible to continue driving a truck.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that back injuries account for 37.4% of all musculoskeletal injuries to truck drivers, by far the most common injury to truckers. The back injuries suffered by truckers tend to be more serious than back injuries suffered by other workers. Truck drivers miss nearly twice as many days of work (13) on average for back injuries as compared to other occupations (7 days).
Truck drivers suffer back injuries in numerous ways, including highway accidents, lifting and bending to load and unload cargo, and less strenuous activities such as climbing into their cabs or simply bending over to tie their shoes. One thing is clear – professional truck drivers are more likely to suffer a back injury than your average person.
The reason for this increased risk has to do with the job requirements and lifestyle of a professional truck driver. Driving a truck involves extended periods of sitting followed by bursts of activity such as lifting and bending. Anyone who has been on a long car ride knows that sitting for long periods can cause back pain.
Professional truck drivers do this 5 to 7 days a week, 8 to 12 hours a day (or more). Stress on the back in inevitable. The vibration of the truck and the bouncing of the seat are also thought to contribute to the high occurrence of back injuries in trucker drivers. This combination is a recipe for painful back injuries.
Millions of Americans deal with back pain every day and are able to continue working and supporting their families until the pain recedes. That is not always the case for truck drivers. Truckers with back injuries often cannot sit for extended periods. The vibration of the engine and the bouncing of the cab jar the spine making every mile excruciatingly painful. Back pain also makes it impossible to bend and lift and do other activities that are part of the everyday life of a trucker.
In addition to the pain, back injuries can be extremely frustrating for truck drivers because the cause of the pain is not always apparent from X-Rays, MRIs, and other diagnostic testing. For this reason, truck drivers often express frustration that doctors and other health care providers are not able to treat their injuries, and, in some cases, refuse to recognize that the trucker is even injured. The pain from the injury combined with the lack of respect shown by health care providers can be disheartening.
If you are a trucker with a back injury, give us a call at 855-448-7887 (855-448-7887), or reach out to us in the comment area below, on email at [email protected], or on Facebook or Twitter. We may be able to help. We have a team of health care professionals who are used to caring for injured truckers and have the expertise to determine the cause of back injuries, even when the cause of the injury is not obvious from diagnostic tests.