Mississippi Attorneys Discuss Truck Drivers and Musculoskeletal Pain
When workers are injured on the job, workers' compensation benefits are supposed to pay for all necessary medical treatment. But what if injured workers are left with a long-term injury, like chronic musculoskeletal pain?
For commercial truck drivers, this chronic pain can be regarded as an occupational hazard, but they should not be left without an income because of it.
The risks facing truck drivers
The University of Waterloo in Canada surveyed 107 male drivers at two truck stops in southern Ontario. The researchers gathered physical, individual and organizational information and found that 61 of the drivers, or 57 percent, reported feeling pain or discomfort in the previous 30 days. Left unaddressed, this pain can become more severe and lead to chronic conditions later in life.
Study co-author Philip Bigelow explained that “physical exposures such as awkward postures, repetition, lifting, whole body vibration and prolonged sitting” are known to be factors that contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Personal factors, like fitness and job satisfaction, can also play a role.
Some larger trucking companies have taken some steps to address the problem by installing seats that reduce vibration and modifying work tasks. They’ve also started to encourage healthy diets and increased exercise.
What is Musculoskeletal Pain?
Musculoskeletal pain is often caused by postural strain, repetitive movements, overuse, and prolonged immobilization. Changes in posture or poor body mechanics can also result in spinal alignment problems and muscle shortening, which also contribute to the pain.
Everyone experiences such pain differently, but common symptoms include:
- Muscles feel like they have been pulled or overworked
- Entire body aches
- Muscles twitch or burn
- Sleep disturbances
A doctor can diagnose a driver’s pain by conducting a thorough physical exam and studying their medical history. They may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to treat pain or inflammation. Manual therapy, or mobilization, can be used to treat spinal alignment problems and these techniques have been shown to speed recovery for some acute musculoskeletal pain.
Other treatments may include:
- Injections with anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medications in or around the painful sites
- Exercise, specifically those involving muscle strengthening and stretching
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Acupuncture or acupressure
- Relaxation or biofeedback techniques
- Osteopathic manipulation
- Chiropractic care
- Therapeutic massage
Obtaining workers’ compensation
If chronic pain from musculoskeletal pain is affecting your ability to work, you deserve to have your rights upheld. The Mississippi workers’ compensation attorneys at Tabor Law Firm P.A. know how workplace injuries can affect you and your family. That's why we are dedicated to helping injured workers successfully navigate the claims process.
We have a thorough knowledge of the workers' compensation laws and a lot of experience dealing with disputed claims. We know what benefits you are entitled to and we can help you fight to get them. Contact our office today for a free consultation.