Legal Guide

Prevalence of Truck Driver Shoulder Injury in New York

The 'trucker's shoulder,' a popular expression in New York, describes the pain in different body parts. These parts include the arm, the shoulders, the neck region, and the finger. This infirmity is predominantly present among truck drivers in New York who have been in the driving profession for years. 

What Does the 'Trucker's Shoulder' Entail? 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in research conducted regarding the injuries of truck drivers, provided that over 70,000 truck drivers sustain shoulder injuries yearly. From the study, the reasons for the damage include: changing tires, the process of moving the goods, continued usage of the steering wheels, and changing gear. All these acts can lead to the shoulder muscles and tendons having Repetitive Strain Injuries. 

The research also shows that 20,000 out of the 70,000 truck drivers that suffer from shoulder injuries take time off to recover.

Symptoms of a Shoulder Injury

When affected by a shoulder injury, the motion range in the shoulder is limited and could lead to numbness in some body parts, which include the wrist, hand, and fingers. Also, it can cause a tingling sensation in these body parts. Excruciating pain is another symptom of a shoulder injury.

Common Injuries Suffered by Truck Drivers 

Rotator cuff tendonitis, which occurs when the rotator cuff muscle and tendons are inflamed, is a common shoulder injury that truck drivers suffer. Other injuries include:

  1. Bursitis (this happens when the sac between the muscle, bones, and tendons is inflamed) 
  2. Carpal tunnel syndrome (this occurs when the nerve that causes a sensation in the palm and fingers is compressed)

Solutions to Trucker’s Shoulder

It is excellent to understand that there are preventive and curative measures regarding the condition.

In New York, the legal provision states that employers must have an insurance policy covering workers' compensation for their employees. As the law provides, the workers' compensation insurance policy does not seek to find fault. So, regardless of how the injury comes about, workers have nothing to prove, nor do they have to pay for their treatment. They also do not have to bear the brunt of the wages lost as a result of the time off they take.

Preventive Measures

There are specific measures truck drivers can take to prevent the 'trucker's shoulder' from occurring. The following are such measures:

  1. Relaxing the body, ensuring the body takes adequate rest from the constant movement, and stretching the muscle. You can achieve this by taking regular breaks.
  2. Forklifts and carts are excellent tools that you can use for the moving of cargo. Truck drivers can use these tools.
  3. Adjusting the seat is another measure that drivers can take. Truck drivers must ensure that they set the chair to the point where they do not have to stretch themselves too forward to turn the steering wheel.
  4. Truck drivers must avoid straining their muscles. Truckers can achieve this by adopting lifting techniques.


“Awareness of the trucker’s shoulder can go a long way in preventing or minimizing the trucker's shoulder amongst truck drivers. This awareness, if it demonstrates how to reduce the occurrence of this injury amongst drivers, would save many drivers from experiencing the injury, which could last for a lifetime.” says Neal Goldstein of Goldstein and Bashner.

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