A Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) occurs when truckers apply a type of force to a certain area of their body repeatedly it’s a ligament, muscle, bone, or even a tendon and does not spend the correct time for their body to recover from that injury.
These cases have increased considerably in recent years thanks to the intense use of technological devices, but in the case of truckers, we know that their daily efforts and their work physically demands so much of them that it’s more than likely they will develop an RSI.
There are thousands of injuries related to some type of repetitive effort, the most common of which are: Bursitis, rotator cuff disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, among many others.
What are the main causes?
- Maintain the same posture, which is often inappropriate, when performing a task or movement repeatedly or very intensively.
- Poor physical condition. If the trucker is not in shape and has to deal with very heavy loads frequently the risks of injury are higher.
- Carrying out a mechanical activity, such as driving heavy vehicles, for long periods of time also favors the development of an RSI.
Symptoms Truckers Should Look out for:
- Localized pain, either acute or severe, that increases over time;
- Weakness in the affected area;
- Difficulty doing some kind of movement;
- Sensitivity to heat or cold;
- Stiffness or throbbing sensation in the affected part;
Usually, the symptoms gradually increase until they are constant and intense, making it difficult to perform simple day-to-day tasks.
Being diagnosed in an early stage with a repetitive stress injury is essential to avoid further consequences. Truckers who notice they are in constant pain should see a doctor for a detailed diagnosis. It may be necessary to carry out extra tests to check the level of the injury.
Depending on the level of the injury, the area where it affects and its degree of severity, the doctor will recommend the best treatment. Generally, the recommended measures are: rest, apply heat or cold in the area, take some type of anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant, physiotherapy, among other measures.
How can truckers be prevented?
- Adopting a good posture when driving or when loading or unloading the truck;
- Changing posture frequently, without staying rigid for long;
- Maintaining the correct alignment of your wrists, arms and fingers when driving;
- Stretch the body regularly, before starting to drive, at the end and whenever they have the opportunity.
- Avoid holding heavy objects for a long time.