Trucking takes it toll on all parts of a trucker’s body. Truckers spend endless hours sitting down with long stretches of rough road rumbling beneath them. Exhaustion and necessity lead to slouching posture, which hurts backs even more. Truckers are often left to power through their hauls while experiencing excruciating pain.
If you’re a trucker, what can you do to diminish back pain? That ache may seem like a fact of trucking life, but it’s not. No one should suffer permanent damage due to their job. By taking a few simple steps, you can leave back ache behind.
Trucking Cabin Prep
Your cabin is where you’ll be spending a lot of time, so it’s important to get it prepared for your voyage. Back pain can emerge from small things, so take care. Here are some things to do to keep your cabin from damaging your muscles:
- Get a comfy seat. This should be obvious, but drivers often forget the basic step of making themselves comfortable when they head out. Make sure your seat is soft enough to prevent soreness but sturdy enough to support you. Your lower back needs a strong chair too—lumbar support is a key component of lower back ease.
- Make sure your seat is clear. Do not sit on anything while you drive. If you sit on your wallet or any other object while driving for hours at a time, your spine will be resting on uneven seating, setting you up for real back damage. Clear everything off your seat, take your wallet out of your back pocket, and sit down flat on your seat before you head out.
- Sit right. While sitting, your feet should rest comfortably on the ground. Your arms should be able to comfortably hold onto the steering wheel and access your cabin’s controls.
Get Some Exercise
Getting exercise can be hard on the road, but it’s important if you want to keep your back from getting sore. Weakened lower back muscles leave your body struggling to hold up your body, which leaves your muscles in pain. Exercise builds up your back muscles. Even a brisk 30 minute walk around the hotel at night will help. If you prefer to exercise during the day, take three 10 minute walks over the course of the way, for instance when you stop to get gas and food, or use the bathroom.
These brief bursts of exercise will build up over time, keeping your energy levels high, your mental state sharp, and your lower back strong. Additionally, exercise will help you lose weight, which means your body needs less power to hold itself up.
Stretching is great for sore muscles. Lower back stretches are simple and quick to do. Do them whenever you make a stop—or at least before and after a ride—to make sure your back is loose and limber. Your back will feel much better if you take good care of it. Look up a few lower back stretches online—The Mayo Clinic offers some easy ones here—and incorporate them into your daily routine.