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Arnold & Itkin LLP Truck Accident Blog2012SeptemberTruck Drivers & Upper Extremity Injuries

Truck Drivers & Upper Extremity Injuries

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that driving for an extended period of time can cause lower back pain. According to the L.A. times, any job that requires a great deal of lifting, bending or twisting may cause lower back injuries or discomfort. Additionally, extended exposure to whole-body vibrations (like driving a large truck for an extended period of time) may cause lower back pain, too. According to studies, though, lower back pain isn't the only injury that long-haul truck drivers may be subject to; it is not uncommon for drivers to experience upper extremity injuries as well.

According to an article published by Dynamic Chiropractic, more than half of truck drivers surveyed complained about having upper extremity injuries. Many of them experienced shoulder pain, scapula pain and tingling in the arms or hands. Why are these injuries so prevalent in the truck driving industry? There are a variety of explanations. Generally speaking, truck driving involves more than sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle all day; it is a physically demanding occupation.

For instance, some of these injuries could be caused by pulling the fifth-wheel pin in and out, lowering the landing gear, loading and unloading the truck – even driving with one's elbow against the window. The article suggests that habitually reaching for the gearshift lever (which is constantly vibrating) may cause upper extremity injuries, too. Apparently, one of the most common ways that truck drivers injure themselves is by grabbing the handle bar to keep from falling.

In situations like this, the driver could injure his/her A/C joint or elbow. Although these injuries are not life threatening, they can seriously affect the driver's quality of life. Constant pain, no matter how insignificant, can easily keep an individual from participating in everyday activities with friends and family members. However, upper extremity injuries are treatable. According to Dynamic Chiropractic, truck drivers should be aware of the risks and make a point to treat these injuries before they become a serious problem.

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