You know, I see a lot of drivers during the year with the same problem – ‘trucker’s shoulder’.
What the heck is ‘trucker’s shoulder’?
A repetitive strain injury
It’ a repetitive strain injury that builds up over time in long distance drivers. It occurs because OTR drivers use their left arm predominantly to steer the truck for long periods of time. I figured it out once that the average driver pulls about 9,900 lbs a day just to adjust for the built-in pitch on the road and keep the truck steered in a straight line.
Early this week I had a woman driver from New Mexico come in with ‘trucker’s shoulder’. She said she had had three different doc’s take a look at her shoulder and they all came up with different diagnoses – torn rotator cuff, shoulder strain / sprain, bursitis, arthritis, and old age. Unfortunately when the condition is misdiagnosed, the prescribed treatment will not address the cause. Sometimes the treatment prescribed may be unnecessary and expensive surgery, which the driver may try to avoid and just live with the problem.
So I did a session of active release technique on this patient, and she was thrilled with the difference it made in her back, shoulder and arm.
Experienced by many drivers
Then 10 minutes later another woman comes into my office. She says she was in the truck stop restaurant talking to the woman from New Mexico and she had the same type of problem with her upper back and shoulder. She also said that lots of people had looked at it and she’d heard all sorts of weird diagnoses. I worked the injured area to release the bound up tissues and told her what she needed to know to help reduce the pain and prevent further onset of ‘trucker’s shoulder’.
She left a happy woman. Only to send me another driver, a man this time, with the same thing. So I worked with him and gave him the same explanation so he could give his shoulder a break and get it back to normal.
Can be treated and prevented
‘Trucker’s shoulder’ is prevalent among long distance drivers. Pain is the last thing to show up and the problem can be can be very distracting and sometimes debilitating. It can also start to cause pain to radiate into the upper arm, shoulder and may cause numbness in the hand, usually the thumb and first two fingers.
Understanding the cause of ‘trucker’s shoulder’ – that it builds up through repetitive strain – and then knowing how to treat and take preventative measures can go a long way to relieve back pain and give you back strength and range of motion in your shoulder and arm. Here at the Chiro Stop we work with OTR drivers to help them resolve ‘trucker’s shoulder’ and the onset of this painful problem.
If we can help you we will. If we can’t help your condition, we’ll tell you that too.