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Q

I spend many hours on the road driving a truck and have developed chronic pain in one of my shoulders. What can I do to alleviate the pain and prevent future shoulder injuries on-the-job?

A

Trucker’s shoulder is a repetitive stress injury caused by the natural right-side tilt of the road and the right-side pull of large trucks. A trucker must constantly adjust for this pull by moving the steering wheel to the left. Over time, the truck driver may begin to experience numbness, swelling and pain. But, trucker’s shoulder is preventable.

Preventing Trucker’s Shoulder

The only way to prevent trucker’s shoulder is to make sure that the muscles in the shoulder get a chance to rest and relax. How do you do this when you are constantly and subconsciously correcting the truck’s steering? The best way is to take your left hand off the steering wheel for a few seconds every 15 to 20 minutes. Wiggle your fingers, stretch to the ceiling, or roll your shoulders. The change in movement will give your muscles the rest they need.

Treatment of Trucker’s Shoulder

If you’ve been driving for several years, you may already have trucker’s shoulder. Giving your arm a rest can help prevent further damage, but it won’t treat your injury. If you are experiencing any pain or stiffness in your shoulder, see a doctor. The doctor will prescribe physical therapy to improve muscle strength and increase your range of motion.

Trucker’s shoulder is a work-related injury and should be covered by Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. To learn more about workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries, request a FREE copy of Your Guide To PA Worker’s Compensation or call Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo, P.C., at 888-807-WORK (9675).