Providing high quality and thorough chiropractic care to people of all ages.
By Dr. Beau Kenihan, Chiropractor at Total Health Chiropractic Bell Park (Geelong)
One of the most common problems truck drivers at our practice in Geelong come in with is low back pain and neck pain. There are many reasons for this, and I’d like to address a few of them which may help some truckies stay on the road comfortably.
The experience of driving a truck can be varied, depending on what type of truck you’re driving, how old the vehicle is, the position of the seat and steering wheel, the transmission (manual or automatic) and the distance you are driving. Commonly, musculoskeletal conditions affecting truck drivers occur as a combination of poor driving posture and/or a problem in one of these areas.
Larger trucks or newer trucks often have shock-mitigating suspension seats, or air seats. These, if properly maintained, greatly reduce the bounce and shock that happens through the body when driving a truck. Without proper maintenance, these seats can lose their shock absorbing properties and begin jarring the spine on bumpy roads. This jarring may lead to an excess amount of force through the spine, and potentially lead to conditions such as degenerative joint disease or disc prolapse.
Seat type and position can have a very big effect on your spine, since the seat of the truck will affect your posture. Some seats have a more concave shape at the lumbar area, which offers little to no support. This may lead to increased stiffness and pain in the lumbar spine. Some seats have a poor backing angle, especially if they are older. This can poorly affect your posture, particularly in the lower area of the neck and the upper back.
Automatic trucks lack a clutch and do not require manual gear shifting. This removes stress from the left arm and wrist, and places less stress on the left knee. Less stress on these joints means a reduced chance of developing conditions such as repetitive strain injury and osteoarthritis.
As Chiropractors, we aim to restore and maintain good posture and spinal mobility. Many truck drivers come to our practice for the management of pain caused by driving, and we commonly find the conditions above.
Some of the Chiropractic techniques we use on truck drivers include:
In summary, truck drivers often experience a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions because of the nature of the job. Chiropractors aim to provide an accurate diagnosis and management plan to keep truck drivers driving safely and comfortably. If you aren’t sure whether you should make an appointment, call our office and speak to one of our team members.