It is well-documented that the most common occupational injuries that truck drivers suffer from are back injuries. Sitting for a prolonged period in a shaking vehicle can do a number on the spine. However, far less is known about why so many truck drivers suffer from shoulder injuries, which is the second most common type of occupational injury in the trucking industry. Bryan Combs, faculty member and nurse at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, took a closer look at this issue to gain a better understanding of why these injuries are so common, and why they take longer to heal than certain back injuries.
One of the first things Combs discovered was that very little is known about the connection between truck drivers and shoulder injuries. This may be because back injuries are so common that it is the first injury that comes to mind when people think of a truck driver injury. Long hours sitting behind the wheel of a truck can affect a driver’s posture, as well as the condition of the bones, ligaments, and muscles of the spine. Numerous studies have been done that show just how prevalent these injuries are. Yet, little to no research has been done on shoulder injuries in truck drivers.
Why Little is Known About Shoulder Injuries
Combs found that there have been studies about shoulder injuries in nurses, electricians, and construction workers, but not in truck drivers. The lack of research may be because people do not consider the physical aspects of the job. While truck drivers certainly do spend long hours sitting, getting in and out of the cab can be physically taxing on the body as well. In addition, dealing with large, cumbersome tarps, straps, and chains can cause shoulder injuries, particularly if the equipment is wet, or extremely heavy. For truckers who pull flatbeds, these injuries may be even more common, said Combs.
Unfortunately, shoulder injuries can take a long time to heal, which can mean more missed time from work. In some ways, the shoulder is more complicated than the back, and injuries often require surgery. Common shoulder injuries include a rotator cuff tear, a labral tear, or both. In his study, Shoulder Injuries in Commercial Truck Drivers: A Literature Review, Combs hopes to learn more about shoulder injuries in truck drivers and how to prevent them. The study will help determine whether trucker shoulder injuries are related to lifting tarps, or if they are driving related. According to Combs, truck drivers can perform 10 to 15-minute exercises that strengthen the shoulder muscles and help prevent future injuries.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Injured Truck Drivers
If you are a truck driver and you have suffered a shoulder injury while on the job, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will help guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the full benefits that you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.