People who drive extensively for work face a unique set of strains on the body. Massage therapy can help alleviate symptoms and reduce stress related to being a driver.
Professions such as truck, ambulance, or delivery drivers often experience discomfort, foot cramps, stiff neck, sore shoulders, and lower back pain from driving a vehicle for extended amounts of time. In the UK, this set of symptoms has been named, “repetitive driving injury” (RDI) – a type of musculoskeletal disorder.
For the driver, the body must endure more than it does when sitting at a desk. A driver’s arms and hands need to be up higher to hold the steering wheel and the legs need to be more extended in order to reach the accelerator and brake pedals. Each leg is typically in a different position from the other. A driver needs to turn the head, neck, and torso often and the body will shift sideways when the vehicle turns.
In a vehicle, the body also bears the force of acceleration and deceleration. Low-frequency vibrations from travelling in a vehicle can cause lower back pain. Poor posture due to personal habits or ill-fitting seats contribute to muscle strain. Sometimes the shape of the vehicle seat may put pressure on the legs, back, and buttocks, restricting blood flow to the legs.
Regular visits to a registered massage therapist (RMT) can help alleviate discomfort by targeting the muscles that are most affected by driving. Massage therapy can help restore and encourage circulation – bringing oxygen to tired muscles and clearing away unwanted toxins by stimulating drainage of the lymphatic system. Massage therapy can also help to release stress around the head and neck. A RMT can also help to restore balance to body parts that often need to function asymmetrically while driving.
Many health plans include some coverage from a Registered Massage Therapist so if you’re looking for some pain or stress relief, contact an RMT and give massage therapy a try.