Why are truck drivers susceptible to shoulder injuries?
Trucking is a difficult job for residents from the Denver, Colorado area. In addition to working typically long hours, it’s common for on-the-job injuries to develop. One of the most common affects a trucker’s shoulder.
How common are shoulder injuries in truckers?
Truck drivers are required to drive for many hours each day while making deliveries or pickups from one location to another. They sit in the same spot at the wheel and perform the same motions for hours at a time, often without stopping for breaks. As a result, it’s natural for a truck driver’s shoulders to experience strain and develop injuries. A shoulder injury is commonly known as “trucker shoulder.” This is a repetitive motion injury that can lead to time off as the trucker files for workers’ compensation.
Why do truckers commonly develop these injuries?
There are certain physical factors involving the makeup of the shoulders that make this type of injury common among truck drivers. The shoulders are made up of muscles, tendons and ligaments, which are all prone to injuries when the individual performs the same motions over and over again. Depending on the force the shoulder experiences while the driver is operating the truck, the injury can be mild, moderate or severe.
Shoulders can experience different injuries: rotator cuff tears, joint inflammation, chronic pain, bursitis and even dislocation. All of these shoulder injuries can worsen when the driver performs additional tasks on the job such as heavy lifting or securing cargo on their trucks. When inflammation occurs, it can result in serious pain and a limited range of motion, which can compromise the person’s work.
Usually, truckers put more strain on one shoulder, which leads to an injury localized to that one. The other shoulder might be unaffected.
With these injuries, truck drivers require medical treatment. While cortisone injections might be helpful in treating pain in the short term, some people may require surgery to repair the damage to their shoulders.
Shoulder injuries are often debilitating for truckers. They can prevent a truck driver from working and time off is needed to recover.