The Best Truck Mattress for Pain
Truck drivers can spend up to 70 hours driving over an 8 day period. This means that drivers are sitting in one stationary position for almost 8 to 9 hours each day they drive. Due to poor posture, lifting heavy loads frequently, and sitting for long periods of time, truck drivers may begin to experience muscle pain and discomfort throughout their bodies. When driving in a stationary position for extended lengths of time, drivers’ muscles, ligaments, and joints can become stiff or painful. Additionally, circulation can be impacted over time from lack of movement. Pain in truck drivers can range anywhere from small aches to shooting back pain and can simply be short term, or can last for years if not managed. Our best, and one of the most common, recommendations to help prevent or treat joint and muscle pain in truck drivers is to rest and invest in semi-truck mattresses that provide high-quality support. Sleeping on a poorly built mattress alone can lead to body aches and pains, but pairing that with the additional discomfort that comes with sitting in one position for an extended period of time can be a recipe for disaster.
OEM Mattresses are the Culprit
An OEM mattress is a factory-made mattress that comes standard with a semi-truck. These mattresses are not always designed with comfort in mind, and can often take blame for body pain experienced by truck drivers. If your truck mattress is not providing the comfort your body needs, it may be beneficial to look for an after-market mattress, such as the SleepDog® Mattress or the BigDawg Mattress™. Many individuals consider OEM mattresses to be cheap mattresses. The word “cheap” does not necessarily refer to the price of the mattress, but the quality of its materials. Stock semi-truck mattresses are often made out of lower quality materials that lack the support an American-made aftermarket mattress will provide.
Low quality truck mattresses generally lose their shape quickly and are likely to sink or sag over time. This sagging can lead to the misalignment of your neck, back, shoulders, and knees or even cause unnecessary pressure to sensitive pressure points. OEM mattresses are most often innerspring mattresses, which means you may noticeably feel the springs within a matter of months, due to mattress padding wearing down over the coils. As a result, your quality of sleep will likely be impacted. Not getting enough restful sleep can affect different elements of your life on the road. Your work, diet, relationships, mood, memory, judgment, and focus can all be impacted by low quality sleep.
Common Pain Points for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers often experience strains and discomfort in the muscles of their neck as a result of sitting so long. The neck is the most common port of the body to feel pain after long rides.
Common Causes of Neck Pain in Truck drivers
- Bad posture when sleeping and driving
Many truck drivers struggle to maintain proper posture when driving due to their limited range of motion. Consistently turning your neck when changing lanes or checking for traffic can also lead to neck discomfort.
Bad posture during sleep can be caused by a mattress that has started sinking. Sinking mattresses can lead to neck and other discomfort due to a lack of high-quality support throughout the night.
Common Solutions for Neck Pain
- Invest in a better quality mattress, like the SleepDog® Mattress or the BigDawg Mattress™
With a poor-quality mattress being a leading contributor to neck and body pain in truck drivers, investing in a high quality mattress designed to maximize comfort on the road will not only give your body the support it needs, but it will also provide the comfort and quality of rest you need to recover from long stretches of time spent in a singular position.
- Stretch your neck
Regular neck stretches can help relax the muscles in your neck, as well as giving your neck the movement and range of motion that it is not getting when driving for a long period of time.
- Use a hot water bottle or heat pack around the neck
A warm compress such as a heat pack or hot water bottle can help relax and treat the pain in your neck.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain can be prevented before drivers even get in their trucks. Drivers can minimize pain by getting a good night’s rest. Sleeping gives your back muscles the time they need to recover each day. Sleeping on a mattress that is built with layers that are comfortable and supportive is key.
Common Causes of Upper Back Pain in Truck Drivers
- One common form of back pain for truckers is compression of their spine due to lack of movement.
- The second most common cause of back pain is sciatica, which also occurs due to lack of movement and prolonged time spent in a seated position. When the sciatic nerve is pinched, it can cause pain to run up and down your legs and back.
Common Solutions for Upper Back Pain in Truck Drivers
- Stretch Frequently
The muscles surrounding your spine are just like any other muscle. The muscle will get tighter the longer it is not utilized. By stretching frequently, you loosen up the muscles in your back.
- Get Regular Exercise
Similar to stretching, it is a good idea to incorporate more movement into your day in order to help maintain a strong, healthy spine. This will keep the muscles around your spine strong and well used, which will help prevent back pain.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is just as common as upper back pain for truck drivers. Chronic back pain is a common ailment in the trucking profession. Studies show that almost 60% of truck drivers experience lower back pain.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain in Truck Drivers
- Truck driving provides insufficient support for lower backs because the feet are being used for braking and shifting rather than balancing and supporting the back. When sitting for an extended period of time, the lower back takes on the majority of body weight.
- Truck seats and OEM mattresses do not always provide the best lumbar support.
Common Solutions for Lower Back Pain in Truck Drivers
- Heat therapy such as heat pads, hot baths, or hot tubs can help relax the muscles in the back in addition to any other muscle and joint pain.
- Massage can help loosen tight muscles and treat pain or knots in the muscles.
- Investing in back support products, such as ergonomic seat cushions and high-quality mattresses can help combat the lack of support in truck seats. SleepDog® memory foam mattresses are designed with multiple layers to minimize motion transfer and contour to your body for the perfect amount of support and pressure relief.
Other Common Pain Truck Drivers May Experience
Knee pain can be commonly experienced by truck drivers due to the repetitive motions of operating clutch, gas, and brake pedals. Additionally, loading and unloading materials as well as climbing in and out of a tall vehicle can lead to knee pain. Massages and routine stretching can help alleviate a truck driver’s short term knee pain. Medical attention may be necessary if the pain persists.
Shoulder pain is so common among truck drivers, it is commonly referred to as “trucker shoulder.” Shoulder pain can occur as a result of repeatedly entering and exiting a truck in addition to regularly loading and unloading heavy materials.
Foot pain is also extremely common in truck drivers. Constantly using your feet to operate the truck, in addition to your feet staying in a stagnant position for long periods of time, can lead to foot pain.
Get Your Best Sleep On A SleepDog® Truck Mattress
The most important part of your truck is you, and good quality sleep keeps you and your body going. Long hauls, loading and unloading cargo can take a toll on the body. Mattresses in sleeper trucks need to meet each driver’s unique sleep needs. The right mattress can help support and repair your muscles, joints, and ligaments during long weeks of driving. Aftermarket brands, such as SleepDog®, specialize in making and manufacturing Department of Transportation approved mattresses that will help you get your best sleep at home or on the road. SleepDog® offers two different mattresses in a variety of common truck and RV mattress sizes . The BigDawg Mattress™ is a double-sided 9” memory foam mattress constructed with CoolRest® memory foam and SureAlign® support foam that can be flipped for softer or firmer support. The SleepDog® Mattress is a slimmer 7” multilayer memory foam mattress profile that is also infused with CoolRest® technology to keep you sleeping comfortably, night after night. Both of these mattresses are CertiPUR-US® certified and are made in America to provide the highest quality, pressure relieving sleep you can get on the road to minimize pain and discomfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is being a trucker hard on your body?
For a profession that is spent almost entirely sitting down, being a truck driver is extremely hard on your body. If you do not take frequent breaks, stretch often, or rest and recover on a supportive semi truck mattress, you may begin to experience muscle pain and discomfort as a truck driver.
Is driving a truck unhealthy?
Driving a semi truck for any extended length of time can be destructive to the body. Our bodies are meant to be in motion, so when you sit in a stationary position for 8 to 9 hours at a time, your joints and ligaments can become stiff and circulation can be negatively impacted. Truck drivers don’t often get high quality sleep or enough rest, which can eventually lead to insomnia and other serious health conditions. It is important to take care of yourself in the trucking and transportation industry.
Is truck driving a workout?
While mostly a sedentary activity, driving a truck can take a toll on your body. Climbing into and out of your truck, constantly twisting your head and neck to check the road and traffic, and flexing your legs and feet to reach the pedals are all regular movements required of the job that seem insignificant but can wear down your body. It is important to exercise and stretch regularly while on the road to maintain flexibility and range of motion to help prevent or avoid injury from driving.