42871871_MDid you know that an estimated 80% of truck drivers suffer from some type of musculoskeletal pain?

Truck drivers frequently report a variety of orthopedic issues including migraines and tension headaches, sciatica, sore muscles, and general lack of mobility. You might not have much control over your work schedule, but there’s plenty you can do to ease pain and inflammation while improving your overall quality of life.

1. Take frequent breaks. As a truck driver, it’s common to drive 10-12 hours a day. While it’s important to meet your quotas, it’s also necessary to take breaks. Getting up and moving around every 1-2 hours is a great way to increase circulation, ease muscle tension, and relieve stress. If you don’t have time to take a walk, simply get out of your cab and stretch out. Even a quick trip to the bathroom can ease trigger points and cramps.

2. Practice good posture. When you’re behind the wheel, try to keep your back straight and your eyes focused on the road ahead. If it helps, imagine that you have a string running from the top of your head to the ceiling. To maintain good posture, your earlobes should sit directly above your shoulder blades at all times. If you catch yourself slouching forward or backward, recalibrate and adjust.

3. Don’t smoke. Smoking isn’t just bad for your respiratory health, it also increases your risk of bulging and herniated discs and other common back problems. Smoking is a tough habit to break, but it’s one of the smartest decisions you can make. Smokefree.gov provides dozens of free resources to help you stop smoking once and for all. Don’t ever give up!

4. Exercise regularly. The more you exercise, the less likely you are to experience neck and back pain. Regular stretching and physical activity keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments spry. They also encourage healthy circulation, boost flexibility, and build strength. You don’t have to get a gym membership either. Any type of exercise counts, from walking and biking, to swimming and lifting weights. Challenge yourself to break a sweat every day.

5. Invest in preventive health. If you take good care of your body, your body will take good care of you. In addition to exercising regularly, try to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. You should also try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, practice good oral hygiene, and visit the doctor at least once a year for a complete physical exam.

By following these five simple tips, you can significantly lower your risk of neck pain, back pain, and headaches on the road. Did we miss anything? If so, make sure to visit our Facebook page and let us know. Drive safe and stay healthy!