Commercial truck drivers keep goods moving, covering vast distances to ensure timely deliveries. Amidst their demanding schedules, drivers often face physical challenges, and an ongoing area of concern is the prevalence of arm injuries.
The repetitive nature of tasks like steering, shifting gears and lifting cargo can lead to strains and injuries that impact not only the driver’s well-being but also their ability to perform their job effectively.
Understanding common trucker arm injuries
The constant use of arms for steering and handling cargo can result in tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons. Repetitive Strain Injuries are also common, affecting muscles, tendons and nerves. These conditions often develop over time but can cause considerable pain and discomfort.
The rotator cuff, essential for arm mobility, can also suffer wear and tear due to the repetitive motions involved in truck driving. Rotator cuff injuries can range from mild strains to more severe tears, affecting the driver’s ability to lift and move his or her arms comfortably.
Prolonged periods of gripping the steering wheel can also contribute to the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition occurs when the median nerve, responsible for controlling sensations in the palm and fingers, faces compression. Symptoms include numbness, tingling and weakness in the affected hand.
Preventing trucker arm injuries
Encouraging proper ergonomics within the cab is key to preventing arm injuries. Adjustable seating, steering wheel positions and controls can help drivers customize their workspace, reducing strain on their arms. Implementing pre-trip and post-trip stretching routines can also help drivers maintain flexibility and reduce the risk of injuries. Simple exercises that focus on the arms and shoulders can go a long way in preventing strains.
Safety + Health reports that 26.3% of all truck driver injuries involve the arms. By implementing proactive measures, employers and employees alike can work toward creating a safer and healthier environment for these essential workers. Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you. Call 610-892-9300 or reach out online.