Tips To Save Your Spine While Driving Your HGV

As a professional HGV driver, you’ve likely already put in plenty of hours on the road. Typically, your professional driving job will force you to spend several hours on the road at a time. This can end up negatively impacting your health in a big way. Driving is one of the most common causes of lower back pain and it can only make existing back pain worse. This is due to the unnatural position we are in while seated. It places a significant amount of stress and strain on your vertebrae and the discs in your lower back. It’s only made worse while in such a cramped and uncomfortable seated position like you are while in the driver’s seat. This can be made even worse with the uneven road conditions you’re likely to face. Here are some of the best tips you can utilise when you are looking to save your spine as a professional HGV driver.

Get Yourself Comfortable Before Starting The Vehicle

Before even starting the engine, you want to position yourself comfortably in the seat. Ensure that you have optimised the ergonomics of your seat and wheel before setting off on your routes. After all, you’re going to be seated for a long time. Even the smallest detail that’s irritating your back can turn into long-lasting pain. Therefore, you want to spot anything and fix it at the first sign of trouble. Try to remove everything from your pockets, especially those on the back of your shorts or pants. Any items stored in your back pockets are likely to cause you to sit unnaturally with your spine out of proper alignment. Ensure that you are seated straight with your knees elevated above your hips. You also want to keep your chin level to ensure your head is properly seated above your spine. Keep contact with the seat at all times with your back. For a lot of people, this may require adding more support towards the lumbar region of the back. As soon as you find a comfortable position, you want to try to stay in it for as long as you can. While you will likely experience some trial and error while getting seated, it’s well worth the time and energy because it can save your spine. If you require lorry training then see ‘lorry driver training‘.

Take Enough Breaks

One important principle you want to utilise when you are trying to survive a long journey on the road is to take frequent breaks. Ideally, you want to do so whenever you feel like you need them. HGV driving, like any kind of driving, can take a toll on you. Because of this, you’re going to want to give yourself plenty of time to stretch. Your spine is designed to move. Because of this, keeping yourself in a seated position for too long is likely to result in your spine getting too stiff. This can lead to muscle aches and back pain. You want to try to plan for regular stops at rest areas throughout your journey. Even a 5-minute walk is sufficient to give your spine and muscles a break. Add some stretching and movement and it’ll help to reduce stiffness and tension. However, you don’t want to stretch too much during these breaks since your spine and back will be in a weaker state from the lack of movement.

Ease Your Grip

When you are driving, it’s not going to be just your lower back that feels it. Both your shoulders and neck will also feel strain and subsequent pain. This is one of the other complaints a lot of professional drivers make.