Avoiding Ergonomic Pains While Driving Your Rig

Operating a truck day-in-and-day-out can be stressful on the mind and body. Concentrating on changing traffic patterns, avoiding dangerous road situations, and sitting in one place for hours on end can take a toll on the body. For these reasons, many big rig operators complain about ergonomic pains and seek solutions that can alleviate those pains. 


In our last blog, we discussed the common hazards of the trucking industry. Today, we are taking a closer look at the ergonomic side of trucking and how drivers can take some simple actions to improve their joints, muscles, and the aches and pains of driving for hours on end. 


Back Pain

Truck drivers often experience lower back pain from sitting in a stationary position for too long. This could be caused by compression of the spine for extended periods, the vibration of the truck, poor posture, and dehydration. 


To combat these pains, professional truck drivers suggest some strategies to overcome this problem including: 


  • Adjusting your cabin seat so you have comfortable arms, your legs are touching the back of the chair, and minimal bending or stretching is needed to see out the side mirrors. 
  • Adjusting posture each hour by making sure your shoulders are back and that your neck is not bent at an odd angle. 
  • Taking short rests and stretching breaks.
  • Improve your diet and water intake. 
  • Get a restful night's sleep on a supportive mattress. 

Joint and Muscle Pain 

It is common for truckers to also experience joint pain in the knees, elbows, and neck. This can be prevented by practicing good posture and seating positions, as well as making time in your schedule to stretch each area before settling in for a long day of driving. Consult your doctor if you suspect that inactivity is not to blame, but rather osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 


In addition to over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, topical rubs can help keep these areas loose and heated for long drives.

Don’t Wait Till Your Body is Screaming 

Any ergonomic professional would tell you to seek help before your body starts screaming for help. If you start to notice that your back, joints, or muscles are aching after your day’s worth of driving, it is time to start ruling out possibilities. 


After you have improved your seating position, corrected your posture, and tried light stretching, it may be the time to seek some help. You would be amazed at how just a few adjustments can make a world of difference. Talk to your doctor about changes you can make or add to your daily routine to make your ride as ergonomically sound as possible.