Truck Driver Shoulder Injuries

Truck driving can take a toll on your body, leading to shoulder pain and injuries. Learn how to combat the physical demands of truck driving with these tips.

st. louis truck driver in front of his truck

As a truck driver, you may often feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders – and sometimes, that feeling isn’t far from the truth. The physical demands of truck driving can take a toll on your body, leading to muscle strain, fatigue, and more severe issues like rotator cuff tears or degenerative joint disease. However, with a few simple precautions, you can reduce your risk of shoulder pain and keep yourself on the road. Here are some helpful tips to avoid shoulder injuries while truck driving:  

What Causes Shoulder Injuries in Truck Drivers?

There are a few key tasks that truck drivers perform that can lead to shoulder injuries. Here are some of them:

Entering the Vehicle by Pulling Up by the Hand Grips

Climbing into a truck’s cab can be tough on the shoulders, especially if you’re relying on the hand grips to pull yourself up. Over time, this repetitive strain can lead to shoulder pain and injury.

Cranking and Lifting

Raising and lowering the trailer, as well as loading and unloading cargo, can put a lot of strain on the shoulder muscles. If you’re not careful, you could end up with muscle strain or even a more serious injury.

Lugging Heavy Items in and Out of the Truck

Lifting heavy items in and out of the truck is another common cause of shoulder injuries among truck drivers. Whether you’re moving boxes or bags of gravel, the constant strain on your shoulders can take a toll.

Vibrations Caused During Driving

Vibrations from the road can also contribute to shoulder pain and injury. Over time, these vibrations can cause muscle strain and fatigue, leading to discomfort and decreased productivity.

Repetitive Motions

In addition to these specific tasks, truck drivers may also be at risk for shoulder injuries due to the repetitive nature of their work. Driving for long periods, and making the same movements over and over again, can lead to muscle strain and fatigue.

How to Combat Shoulder Pain as a Truck Driver

  • Get enough sleep and take frequent breaks to stretch your shoulders.
  • Do shoulder rolls or shrugs a few times every hour to help your shoulders release tension and prevent muscle strain.
  • If possible, use tools like carts and forklifts to help you load and unload cargo. This can help reduce the strain on your shoulders and prevent injuries.
  • Instead of relying solely on your arms and shoulders to pull yourself up into the cab, use your core and leg strength to help lift your body weight.
  • Use proper technique when cranking the trailer up or down. To lower the trailer, stand facing the trailer while operating the crank. To raise the trailer, stand parallel to the trailer while cranking. Make sure to set the crank handle properly, bend your knees instead of your back, and separate your feet for stability. It’s also good to put one hand on the truck for additional stability.

Injured on the Job? Our St. Louis Workers Comp Attorney Can Help!

If you’ve been injured as a truck driver, you may wonder what your options are for seeking compensation. The good news is you have rights and resources available to you, and the team at the Law Office of James M. Hoffman is here to help. From navigating the complex legal system to fighting for your rights and getting the financial support you need, we can guide you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Updated: January 24, 2023