Role of biomechanical causation mechanisms for LBP among truck drivers

Within the transportation, warehousing, and utility industry sector, truck transportation has the highest number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders with low back pain (LBP) at the root of more than 35% of all disorders. Truck drivers are exposed to a number of occupational risk factors for low back pain, including physical (i.e. prolonged and constrained sitting, whole body vibration, infrequent manual material handling), personal (i.e. poor eating habits, smoking, lack of exercise and resting time, and lack of family time), and psychosocial (i.e. high levels of stress, low job satisfaction, poor mental health) factors. Truck driver exposures to such a diverse range of LBP risk factors imposes a significant challenge for the development of risk management strategies to minimize exposure levels. Knowledge of the underlying physiological mechanism(s) responsible for the development of LBP among this cohort can open new venues for managing this problem, via practical interventions that specifically target the underlying tissue malfunctions rather than simply reducing generic physiologic risk factor exposures.

OUTCOMES: Two graduate students (MS, PhD) have received valuable hands on experience with this project’s design, data collection and analysis.