How common is “trucker tendonitis?”
Truck drivers deal with many challenges on the roads, from drunk drivers to long hauls with little rest. But the most significant danger most drivers face lurks below the stirring wheel through Achilles tendonitis.
Driving for extended periods wears down on the body, including your ability to heal. The more your drive, the worse the problem will get. Eventually, it may affect your ability to work, drive or even walk.
What is tendonitis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — a thick cord that attaches a muscle to a bone. Frequently, it causes severe discomfort and swelling throughout different joints including shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.
With proper medical treatment and physical therapy, the pain begins to fade. However, if the tendinitis is untreated, patients may need to get surgery.
For most truck drivers, tendonitis often develops in the heel due to long hours behind the wheel. The pain gradually worsens over years of driving and eventually leads to dull aches in the back of the leg and on the Achilles tendon.
Despite the prolonged pain, tendonitis is moderately simple to treat if diagnosed quickly. Healthcare professionals may recommend a simple routine of rest and ice until inflammation is reduced. They may prescribe specific medications to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Small stretches each day may also improve flexibility in the foot and leg.
Despite simple treatment, the costs of the medical bills may still be expensive – especially for drivers who can’t work. It’s critical for truck drivers to consider filing for workers’ compensation to secure medical treatment and get them back onto the road.