Sitting behind the wheel of a big rig for extended periods of time, developing poor eating habits over the road, and difficult sleeping accommodations are often the cause of many ailments that affect truck drivers around the world.

5 Common Heath Issues

We’ve put together some information on some of the common health issues faced by truck drivers. The key to good health is always prevention, which often means being aware of symptoms, paying attention to your body, and seeking medical attention when needed.

#1 Chronic Back Pain and Injury

Driving for long periods of time creates a significant amount of strain and stress to the muscles in your neck, lower back and upper back. A lot of this strain can be alleviated by having proper posture while driving. Yup, that’s right, sit up straight, no slouching behind the wheel!

# 2 Depression and Loneliness

Life on the road can be lonely. Leaving behind a spouse, children, family, friends or even your family pet can be difficult and lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, and depression. It can be difficult to identify your feelings, and even more difficult to ask for help but it’s important to know that you are not alone. Depression is not in your head and it is most definitely not a weakness, it is a real condition that can be treated, managed and overcome.

#3 Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a rather serious sleep disorder that happens when a person’s breathing is interrupted when they sleep. When left untreated, a person can potentially stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night. The result is the brain, along with the rest of the body, may not receive enough oxygen during these moments.

#4 Gallbladder Attacks

Many truck drivers are at an increased risk for gallbladder attacks, caused by Gallstones. The symptoms are often so intense they are often mistaken for a heart attack. Gallstones are one of the unfortunate side effects of a poor diet. Greasy foods that are high in fats and cholesterol combined with an inefficient fibre intake are just one of the causes of Gallstones.

#5 Heat Stroke

If you’re from Winnipeg, our average seasonal temperatures hover around 79 degrees, so heading to Florida, for example, with an average temperature of 90 degrees can definitely take its toll. Not only is it hotter, but it’s also a different type of heat. In Florida it’s wet and humid, imagine being wrapped in a hot wet towel. When working in these conditions it is important to pay attention to your body and be cautious of Heat Exhaustion and not let it develop into Heatstroke.

This job is difficult, even at the best of times, but one way to make it easier is to take care of yourself while you are over the road.