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A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

Truck drivers are gripping and clenching all day long. This can cause many issues that drivers may not realize come from doing what seems to be nothing… Gripping the steering wheel.
Hours a day, your hands are left in a clenching (flexion) position, day after day. This causes the fascia to create pathways, making it hard to do other things with your hands when you need them most!
“Having a weak grip can be an indication of many things, including arthritis, a pinched nerve, or a nerve injury, among other conditions,” says DeLuca. “Assessing grip strength, along with the patient’s medical history and other presenting symptoms, can tell us a great deal about the person’s overall health.”
There are many reasons one’s handgrip strength could be declining aside from the long hours gripping the steering wheel day after day, year after year as a truck driver.

Possible Causes for Grip Strength Issues:

  • Weakness in the hands and forearms
  • A pinched nerve (in the upper back, shoulder, or arm)
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Heart Problems
  • Fascial restriction/scar tissue
Self.com published an article that noted a study commenting on the following:
“Grip strength—or lack thereof—can actually have long-term health implications, too.

Research shows that grip strength is a good predictor of overall strength, which serves as a good predictor for overall health, including cardiovascular disease risk. In a large-scale study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers measured the handgrip strength of nearly 140,000 people across 17 countries and then followed subjects for approximately four years. The study findings revealed that lack of grip strength is a stronger predictor for death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease, than systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts).”

For drivers, this can be a great way to gauge one’s health and, more importantly, decide to do something about it sooner than later.

 

The good news there are many things you can do to improve your grip strength and many things a driver, even living over the road, can do to improve your overall health, wellness, and fitness.

Exercises Truck Drivers Can Do To Improve Grip Strength:

  1. Steering Wheel Hand Stretch

Pro Tip: Double down. While you are driving, use the wheel to stretch your hands REGULARLY! This is a great exercise to do (safely) while driving to help break up those moments of strain and boredom.
Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Stretch
  • Holding the steering wheel safely, use one hand and press the thumb down again the wheel
  • Keep your wrist straight
  • Extend your fingers long
  • Place your thumb on the wheel & pull down
  • Repeat this with each finger individually and then with all four fingers together
  • Hold each one for 5 to 10 counts or unit the stretching subsides
  • You do not need to overdo this; make sure what you do is breathable
  • Repeat the opposite hand
  • Repeat 1-3 times a day
Do you love this move? There are more stretches you can do for your hands and wrists on our other blog post, 3 Stretches to Do to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving.
✋ Hands….they are quite important ❤️💥

2. Scapulae Push-Up

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga Scapulae Pushup
The shoulder girdle is often forgotten about when it comes to arm, elbow, and hand issues. But it can be a big factor when trying to rehab issues in those areas. The Scapulae Push-Up is my go-to for everyone BEFORE they want to embark on doing Push-Ups, as most people do them incorrectly and are leading themselves down a roadway of future pain, injury, and wondering where this all came from. The Scapulae Push-Up strengthens and mobilizes the muscles on the front of the shoulder blade and around the shoulder girdle to help you hold a strong Plank, help you get up from your Push-Up, and give you relief in your driving life from a thing like a shoulder and a neck pain, or arm and wrist pain. This move is great for steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Come to a Plank position on your truck step or the ground
  • Turn the folds of the elbows forward and draw your shoulders back
  • Tip your belt line up and into your abdomen for more core support
  • Without bending your elbows, pinch your shoulder blades together behind you
  • Then broaden them without hunching your back
  • Continue to do this 5-15 times in a row.
  • Do not sag the head or belly, and this moving is only 1-3 inches (not big)

3. Strength Building Pinch Grip

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Pinch Grip Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post
Building strength is crucial to help aid the decline of grip-related issues. Throughout the day, find ways to strengthen your hands by pinch grip lifting tools or heavier objects to challenge the muscles of the hands. This can be with any object or with a weight, kettlebell, or weight training specific tool. Don’t overthink this. A little goes a long way. And every bit counts. This is one move to rescue your hands and give you a great session of steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Hold a weight, kettlebell, or heavy object between your pointer finger and thumb.
  • Slowly and mindfully lift the object off the ground
  • Work to hold it for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat this 1-3 times a day to continue to improve pinch grip strength

4. Forearm Curls

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Forearm Curls Mother Trucker Yoga blog post
When the forearm is weak, this can cause pain and grip issues in the hand and issues in the shoulder. This is as simple as using a weight or weighted object and doing wrist curls one to three times a day to build up the lost strength and tone in the forearm.
  • Hold the weight in your hand.
  • Bring your elbow to 90 degrees.
  • Drop the hand to extend the wrist as far as you can
  • Next, curl the weight up and bring your knuckles into your forearm as close as you can
  • Repeat this 10-30 times
  • Then hold the weight verticle and your hand sideways
  • Repeat the same process, but this time moving right to left like a gate closing and opening
  • Repeat this same process on the opposite side.

 

By taking the initiative to do something about things like this, you can lengthen your career, and more importantly find relief to do your job without nagging issues like this.

Attention Trucking Companies

Trucking companies must find this a necessity to help take care of their drivers. More than 80% of work-related injuries are repetitive injuries, which means it’s what the employee is doing day in and day out. Drivers need relief, and that relief can be something the trucking companies these men and women work for can give them.

Does your trucking company offer driver fitness and wellness programming and seminars for you and your fellow driver? If not or you would like to see them upgrade what they offer. Reach out to us here at Mother Trucker Yoga. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we leave the trucking to the trucking companies and drivers, and that way with nearly 20 years of experience working with people just like you, with real jobs, real ailments, and real pain, you can leave the health, fitness, and healing to us! CLICK HERE TO find more out about our corporate programming!

STIFF Mother Trucker Wrist Pain Graphic MOTHER TRUCKER YOGA BLOG
Plantar Fasciitis Mother Trucker yoga blog

What is Plantar Fasciitis & What to Do About It

What is Plantar Fasciitis & What to Do About It

 

I never had ANY issues with my feet until I was pregnant. Plantar Fasci.. Who? And it was right about that time that I began my journey of diving into the body. Not yoga poses. Not fancy exercises, but how the body moves and why it moves the way it does. How we are an adaptation of our environment over time and things don’t necessarily happen to us, they accumulate within us. 

 

To be honest, you don’t catch plantar fasciitis like you do an airborne virus. Your body moves or doesn’t move, it adapts to the environment you put it in and it responds. When your muscles scream, cramp, tighten, clench, sag, freeze they are responding. The question is, are you listening? 

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

 

But what IS plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis means the inflammation in the muscular band around the sole, which supports the arch. It is the main reason for pain at the bottom of the heel. And that plantar tendon is then connected to your achilles tendon, which then connects in with your calf muscles, to your hamstrings to then your sacrotuberous ligament and so on (that was a mouth full). My point…everything is connected. Our bodies are not separate parts, we are not parts, we are whole. And when we are in pain, like foot pain, we cannot just look at the area screaming. We must step back and look at the entire canvas and how that canvas moves or doesn’t move. If someone was to be holding a gun pointed at another who would be screaming, the shooter or the victim? The victim is the bottom of your foot, the persecutor is the cause of it. 

 

In modern busy lives, one is always on his feet. Our heels are constantly under the pressure of our daily life hustles. This pressure ultimately damages or tears your foot ligaments resulting in pain and stiffness under the sole. And furthermore, the long bouts of sitting, tightening of the calves and hamstrings coupled with extreme fitness shortens and tightens those areas causing a pulling and aggravating pain. 

 

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

During the later months of pregnancy, women carry a lot of weight on their feet and are more at risk for Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Men and women between the age group of 40-70 years and majorly women among them are at higher risk for Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Obese individuals, due to high pressure on their heels and repetitive tensile overload from walking, standing, or squatting, are more prone to the inflammation of the muscle band around their heels.

 

Certain activities or exercises that include running, dancing on heels or ballet dancing, skating, aerobic dance, inadequate stretching, or walking long-distance without a proper pair of shoes, etc.

 

Pronation (walking in a way that your whole body weight tends to be on the inside of your foot) is one major cause of Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Long term sitting with minimal bouts of movement, stretching or activity. 

 

People with structural foot abnormality (Foot Mechanics) like flat feet, protruded, or extended heel bone or high arches usually suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. Weak plantar flexor muscles and intrinsic muscles of the foot are the bio-mechanic causes of Plantar Fasciitis.

Certain occupations that involve excessive use of feet or dynamic jobs like teachers, factory workers, police, labor, etc. are at higher risks.

Heel spurs were implicated as one of the causes of Plantar Fasciitis. It was later clarified that this is a very weak association and may not necessarily be a cause of Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Symptoms

 

Stabbing pain and tenderness in the heel is the typical symptom of Plantar Fasciitis.

The pain can be triggered by a long period of standing.

The pain generally kicks off after exercise as the pain flares up due to increased irritation or inflammation but doesn’t show any symptoms during exercise.

The nature of pain may vary from person to person. It can be dull or sharp, burning or ache in the heel.

The pain is commonly worse in the morning. You will feel a wave of pain the moment you take your first step out of bed. Climbing stairs would be the last thing you want to do as it aggravates the pain to a higher extent.

 

Management

 

Statistically, stretching is believed to give the best long-term results at home.

Calf and arch stretch

  1. Sit on the bed with straight legs.
  2. Take a folded towel (or a strap or belt)
  3. Hold the ends with both hands.
  4. Place the balls of your feet in the middle of the towel and pull back the towel/belt flexing the foot (place the towel over the ball of the foot).
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds with a rest interval of 30 seconds and repeat this 3 times. Or hold until tension passes.
Plantar Fasciitis - foot stretch mother trucker yoga blog

Seated Forward Bend with Strap to Stretch Arches, Calves, and Hamstrings

Downward Facing Dog

  1. Start down on all fours.
  2. Take a deep breath in and lift your knees.
  3. Without walking your hands back, press up through your arms and shoulders.
  4. Exhale and draw your belly in and lift your hips high.
  5. Let your heels sink towards the ground and “walk the dog” by alternating lifting and lowering each heel and bending the opposite knee. 
  6. If you are feeling tight, bend the knees (the goal is not to have straight legs, but to feel a stretch).
  7. NOTE: Try Half Downward Dog on the step of your truck. Does your truck step need an upgrade? In need of more grip? >Shop NOW<
Plantar Fasciitis Half downward dog mother trucker yoga blog

Half Down Dog on Truck Step

Plantar Fasciitis Downward Facing Dog Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Downward Facing Dog

Roll the arch on our Massage Roller Stick

  1. Keep a ball or our massage roller stick by your bedside.
  2. Roll your foot on the ball three times for 1 minute with 30 seconds of the rest interval.
  3. Do this exercise after waking up and before going to bed.
  4. NOTE: Your feet may feel tender due to wearing shoes too frequently and not stimulating the muscles in the feet often enough.

mother trucker yoga massage roller feet

Manual Stretch

Before taking your first step out of bed, stretch and massage your feet manually with the help of your fingers.

 

Treatment

  • NSAIDs
  • Stretching
  • Formal physical therapy
  • Night splints
  • Custom orthotics
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma injections
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Fasciotomy
  • Topical Pain Relief Cream – STIFF Mother Trucker

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream in Hand

 

Thank you to BUD & TONY’S TRUCK PARTS for being the sponsor of this blog.

Are you ready to try out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Half Down Dog on the step of your truck but you need an upgrade?

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