If your job involves driving in Philadelphia traffic, you are probably aware that there is a risk of on-the-job injury. You wear your seat belt, avoid distracted driving and follow traffic laws in order to reduce your chances of injury in a workplace car accident. But, you can suffer a painful neck, shoulder or back injury without ever crashing your car.
Causes of Neck and Back Pain From Driving
- Most vehicle seats don’t provide enough lumbar support.
- Vehicle seats are lower than chairs and often tip backwards. This puts strain on the hamstrings and forces the pelvis to roll back.
- Improper seat position can put stress on the neck and upper back.
- Driving for long periods puts strain on the vertebrae and discs on the spine.
- The back and neck are constantly exposed to both vibrations and jolting.
- Pressing the clutch on a manual vehicle puts pressure on your lumbar discs.
These issues aren’t a problem if you have a short commute, but if your day involves hours of driving or sitting in I-66 traffic, you could end the day in pain. Workers in the following occupations are most likely to suffer a repetitive strain injury from driving:
- Truck drivers
- Heavy equipment operators
- Forklift operators
- Taxi drivers
- Limousine drivers
- Bus drivers
- Delivery drivers
- Travelling sales persons
- Real estate agents
- Anyone with a long commute
It is important that anyone who drives for long periods of time be aware of the risk of injury. Over time, muscle strain from driving can do permanent damage to the joints and muscles in the back and neck.
Stress Injuries Associated With Driving
- Neck, back, and/or shoulder pain
- Reduced circulation in the legs or foot cramps
- Stiff neck
- Degeneration of spinal discs
- Disc herniation
You can prevent repetitive strain injuries associated with driving by adjusting your seat for maximum support. We also suggest that you take a look at the related links to learn more about repetitive motion injuries in the workplace.
If you suffer a repetitive motion injury from on-the-job driving, your injury will be covered by Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. You can learn more about workers’ compensation in Your Guide to PA Worker’s Compensation. To request your complimentary copy, click the link at the top of this page or call 888-807-WORK (9675).