Professional Drivers with Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 6, 2014

taxi driverMany professional drivers (bus, truck, taxi, limo drivers, etc.) struggle with back pain on a daily basis.

In this post we will discuss the common conditions that can cause back pain in professional drivers and explain how to effectively treat these conditions.

Driving vs. Sitting at a Desk

Professional drivers are required to stay seated for long periods of time. This can exacerbate existing back issues. You might think that driving is no different than sitting at a desk (like so many working people for 40-50 hours a week). This is true if the vehicle is stopped or parked, but when the car is in motion a driver’s feet need to be active using the gas, brake, and clutch (if applicable). This means that the feet aren’t able to provide as much support to the lower back.

Furthermore, an office worker sitting at a desk generally has more chances to move around, stand up, and walk around occasionally. Drivers do not get nearly as many options to do so.

Numerous studies have shown a correlation between prolonged driving and back pain. That’s not to say (necessarily) that driving causes low back pain, but rather that driving can amplify existing back conditions such as pinched nerves, bulging or herniated discs, and other spinal injuries.

Prevention and Treatment

It’s simply not good for the spine to sit for prolonged periods of time. However, for professional drivers there isn’t a choice. They need to drive to pay the bills. With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways to prevent and treat low back pain when it comes to extended driving:

  • Make sure your seat is adjusted to the optimal angle for your height
  • Take breaks whenever you can. At gas stations, rest stops, or elsewhere, stand up and walk around.
  • Use accessories like bead backrests to make your drive more comfortable.

Driving with low back pain can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re a professional driver struggling with a spine condition, contact a spine specialist today to talk about your options for treatment.

 

 

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