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Influx of ‘amateurs’ put ‘driver’ at No. 1 spot on list of ‘back-breaking jobs’

November 9, 2016

Burr Ridge, IL – The rise of ride-hailing services has resulted in “driver” being ranked No. 1 on the North American Spine Society’s list of “Top 10 Most Back-Breaking Jobs” as determined by a survey of NASS members.

“Chronic back pain has long been an occupational hazard for professional truck and taxi drivers,” Chad Patton, orthopedic surgeon and Public Affairs Committee chair for NASS, said in an Oct. 4 press release. “But with the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, tens of thousands of ‘amateur’ drivers each month are suddenly becoming professionals, sitting in their cars for extra hours, toting luggage, and feeling the pain.”

Patton offered drivers tips to help prevent back pain. Among them:

  • Stretch before entering the vehicle.
  • Remove items from back pockets to avoid possibly throwing your spine out of alignment and triggering back and leg pain.
  • Adjust your seat to a 100-degree angle to prevent slouching and ensure you are close enough to the steering wheel that your elbows and knees are slightly bent.
  • Take a break every 45 to 60 minutes to drink water; walk around; and stretch your back, neck and hip flexor muscles.
  • Move around a bit in your seat while driving – even 10 seconds of movement and gentle stretching can be beneficial.
  • Use cruise control when possible.

The jobs making up the remainder of the Top 10 list are construction worker, nurse, office worker, manual laborer, dental worker, warehouse worker, mechanic, factory worker and mother.