Posts

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
Mother Trucker Yoga Blog - The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

 

When I set out to create my pain relief cream, I had a list of ingredients I wanted in my pain cream and a list of what I didn’t. For the past 20 years I have been using, searching, and sampling other peoples pain relief creams and some of them worked, some didn’t. But all of them had something I didn’t like about them (in the ingredients). I have been saying, “one day, I’ll make my pain relief cream” for nearly five years. But when you live in a small town in Wisconsin, when will you plan to meet a manufacture and a formulator and someone who knows how to create a legit product? 

 

But while assisting one of my mentors at a workshop and hearing what I do with Mother Trucker Yoga, the great question came out of their mouth, “have you ever thought about creating a product?” A few months later, after several samples, ingredient combinations, texture trials, container sampling, and label creation- STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was born. 

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream blog

One of our favorite ingredients:

Capsicum or chili peppers are increasing their debut in the pain management department. You’ll find its chemical compound Capsaicin in many pain-relieving creams, gels, lotions, sticks, and sprays. Its topical formulation is an efficient pain management tool.

cap·​si·​cum | \ ˈkap-si-kəm  \

Definition of capsicum (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1aany of a genus (Capsicum) of tropical American herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family widely cultivated for their many-seeded usually fleshy-walled berries

 called also pepper

2an oleoresin derived from the fruit of some capsicums that contains capsaicin and related compounds and is used medicinally especially as a topical pain reliever

What is Capsaicin?

Capsaicin was first isolated from chili peppers or capsicum in 1878 in crystalline form. Capsicum except bell pepper has its hot and spicy flavor from this little fellow, a remarkable health-promoting substance. It increases gastric secretions and stimulates nerve endings.

Capsicum blog mother trucker yoga

The Scoville Scale

However, its intense burning and irritating properties make it intolerable. Since it is a self-administered medicine, prescriptions are not required. Hence, to avoid the side effects from large quantity administration, a tool named Scoville scale was derived by W. Scoville which is used to determine the healthy amount of capsaicin in these medicinal preparations.

Pain Relief Stiff Mother Trucker Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

Uses of Capsicum for Topical Administration

The topical formulation of Capsaicin is absorbed well through the human skin. It is conveniently useful in the relief of:

  • Minor aches and pains from daily life
  •  Joint pains from age or injuries
  • Backache from long-term sitting or driving
  • Strains from muscle overuse, or muscle underuse coupled with jarring movements
  • Sprains from exercise, work-related injuries, or life!
  • Stings and bites from  bees and insects
  • Chronic pain from injuries, stiffness, and lingering pain
  • Pains like sciatica and piriformis syndrome

Indications of Capsaicin

F.D.A. Labeled Conditions
  • Arthritis
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Fibromyalgia
  • Musculoskeletal Pains
F.D.A. Non-Labeled Conditions
  • Neuropathy Postoperative complications
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Migraine
  •  Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Psoriasis

Stiff Mother Trucker for Hand Pain Relief

Mechanism of Action

Capsaicin works in topical administration, although its exact mechanism has not been elucidated yet.

Capsaicin is a neuropeptide-active agent that renders the pain-sensitive areas insensitive to the pain sensation by depleting and preventing the accumulation of pain impulse mediators (from peripheral to the central nervous system). With this phenomenon, painful sensations fail to travel to the Central nervous system’s pain-sensitive regions, which gives us temporary relief from the painful episode.

 

Precautions

Do not apply Capsaicin cream to the cuts and open wounds.

Wash your hand immediately after applying the cream to avoid unnecessarily touching the burn sensitive areas such as nose, eyes, or mouth, etc.

Always consult your physician for directions before using the cream to get desirable results.

 

Side-Effects

Like all other topical herbs, chemicals, treatments, and oils, there are precautions you wan tot take and things you want to consider when using. These side effects can occur due to excessive use or use in forbidden areas. They include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Itching or Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain 

These side effects are often short-term and are often associated with improper use (IE- private parts, eyes, mouth). Some notice this with its first use, but they will gradually fade away after its continuous application. In our STIFF Mother Trucker formula, we are using just the right amount of capsicum combined with other soothing and cooling ingredients to give you the perfect combination for your muscles and skin. 

 

Read your labels on ALL your pain relief creams. Read your labels, many focus only on immediate cooling, but nothing to penetrate deep, nothing to do anything beneath the surface. That’s where STIFF Mother Trucker comes in. Let us be your number one solution for pain relief that hits you deeply! 

Ready to try the amazing benefits of capsicum and our other amazing all-natural ingredients??

Grab a tube HERE + get FREE Shipping + Free Stickers

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Drivers

Stiff Mother Trucker - MTY Blog Post

Topical Pain Relief Just for Truckers

Topical pain relief just for truckers when they need it most.

Have you ever really looked at topical pain relief creams and noticed what they are made with? I have been in the health and fitness industry for nearly 20 years, and pain is one of the top complaints students have. When I stepped into the trucking industry it was no surprise that pain, physical pain were also a chronic issue for drivers as well. Except for a driver, stopping and getting out of their truck is not always the easiest or even possible.

Having swollen joints from arthritis, inflammation from an injury, or chronic stiffness from lack of movement can cause quite a bit of pain and limit your ability to move. Physical pain is a pain in the butt, and getting relief when you are a truck driver is not always the easiest.

You may already have tried over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, and other pain relief creams. However having used more than 30 different pain relief creams on and off over the years, I constantly found myself liking certain things about this one, and disliking certain things about that one. And don’t even get me started on the crappy ingredients some creams put in- why? Because they can.

Working with truck drivers it became very clear that there wasn’t anything specifically for drivers. And one of the number one complaints I hear from drivers is physical pain, stiffness, tightness, P-A-I-N.

What is topical pain relief?

Topical pain medications are absorbed through your skin. Most people are familiar with creams, gels, or sprays that are put directly on the site of the injury, pain, or joint.

Because the ingredients are absorbed through the skin, it is suggested that wherever you use the cream (gel) you rub in thoroughly and massage into the area of discomfort.

How often should a topical pain relief cream be used?

Harvard suggested that a topical pain reliever should be applied two to four times a day for the best results. And is best when applied near a joint.

Pain Relief with Stiff Mother Trucker Blog MTY

What ingredients are best to look for?

After countless searches, time, and time again Capsaicin (Capsicum) was noted as a front runner for topical pain relief. This was an ingredient I never came in contact with when it came to topical pain relief options in the yoga and fitness industry.

Capsaicin (kap-SAY-ih-sin) causes the burning sensation you associate with chili peppers. Capsaicin creams deplete your nerve cells of a chemical that’s important for sending pain messages. Capsaicin is most effective if used several times a day. When used topically you often feel a deep penetrating sensation that often lasts for what our testers said was hours. You may also notice a slight read area where it was rubbed due to an increase in blood flow.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine stated “Capsaicin is a powerful local stimulant that, with repeated applications, leads to persistent desensitization to pain. In each of these trials, the use of topical capsaicin produced statistically significant reductions in pain compared with the reductions in pain with the use of placebo.”

Peppermint has demonstrated anti-nociceptive and analgesic actions in multiple studies, especially with respect to its menthol constituent. For pain in a local area, the use of peppermint oil can aid in the relief of both pain and inflammation.

Arnica is a natural is a perennial plant found in the mountainous areas of Europe and North America that produce yellow-orange daisy-like flowers. Since the 1500s, the fresh or dried flowers of the arnica plant have been used for medicinal purposes.

A randomized study involving 204 people with hand osteoarthritis was published in Rheumatology International in 2007. It was found that daily arnica gel was as effective as daily ibuprofen gel, although neither treatment was compared to placebo. There also were minimal side effects with arnica.

Magnesium is an important nutrient. It has multiple functions within the body. These include:

  • regulating nerve and muscle function
  • supporting a healthy pregnancy and lactation
  • maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • maintaining optimum blood pressure levels
  • manufacturing and supporting protein, bone, and DNA health

One study done in the Journal of Integrative MedicineTrusted Source indicated that transdermal application of magnesium chloride on the arms and legs of people with fibromyalgia reduced symptoms, such as pain.

WebMD states that Menthol is a “medication” that is used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints (such as arthritis, backache, sprains). Menthol is known as a counterirritant. It works by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm.

These are just a few of the ingredients I researched and dove into knowing I wanted in my own pain relief cream. But more importantly, I wanted something natural, effective, and free of all the other junk.

When I started to dive into other topical pain relief creams, I really took notice of all the other “filler” ingredients, and working with a master formulated in the beauty industry she assured me that those ingredients do not need to be in there. And often those are used as “filler” ingredients.

Why should you have to read a label worried if junk ingredients are in there? Why should you have to worry that someone is poisoning you, or claiming something is “natural” when only one or two of their ingredients are?

You shouldn’t have to worry and you shouldn’t have to doubt.

First-Ever Topical Pain Relief Cream Just for Truck Drivers.

Mother Trucker Yoga is proud to introduce you to the first-ever Stiff Mother Trucker Topical Pain-Relief Cream made for truckers.

The perfect formula for pain on the go with no junky ingredients. But don’t worry you don’t have to be a trucker to use Stiff Mothe Trucker, everyone can benefit from our signature formula designed for those who need fast and immediate relief alongside long-lasting penetration.

Want to grab your bottle today?

Get FREE shipping for a limited time only and free samples to share with fellow drivers!

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream MTY Blog

For more articles on pain relief, check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s recent article on back pain: https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/02/18/put-back-pain-in-your-rear-view-mirror/

And check out Bud and Tony’s article on back pain contributed to:

https://www.budandtonystruckparts.com/truck-driver-back-pain

3 Stretches for Wrist and Hand Pain Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

3 Stretches to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving

Pain can halt any job dead in its tracks. But when you are a truck driver the last thing you need is to come to a dead stop. Having a good grip is one of the number one things a truck driver needs. Why? Because controlling that 18 wheeler while out on the open road requires several things, one is gripping the steering wheel. Having good hand mobility includes your fingers, wrists and arms.

Sure it may seem insignificant, but not being able to grip the steering wheel, ratchet down your load, or open your truck door all require your hands to work properly.

If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion.

Repetitive strain injuries are not just for those who type on a computer or hold a hammer. Continuously holding your steering wheel in a particular way can also cause pain and discomfort. And the lack of having full range of motion regularly is a big part of the problem with anyone with hand and wrist issues.

Taking a time out and stretching your fingers, hands, and wrists is one of the best ways to keep pain and discomfort at bay and increase hand mobility and function.

Below you will find five commonly recommended exercises for hand and wrist problems. However, if your hand condition is painful or debilitating, it’s best to get exercise advice from a physical therapist. All exercises should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid pain and injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

FINGER  AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of the time the only way we are moving our fingers is into flexion. AKA curling them into the grip. When you repeatedly do something over and over you create a pattern. Like driving a dirt bike on the grass over and over, you eventually create a dirt path within the grassy ground.

TRY THIS: Open and outstretch your hand as wide as you can. Look at it from the side and see if all of your fingers straighten up. Is it hard to do? When is the last time you stretched (extended) those joints? Did something that didn’t require you to “grip”?

PRO TIP: Twice a day stretch your fingers, you can pull back on each finger one at a time. Or you can also use the steering wheel and stretch each finger again the wheel. Try to hold the stretch for at least 10-20 seconds each.

Finger Stretches Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

WRIST AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of us have jobs where we use our body by folding inward. Bending forward. Rounding forward. Gripping. Internally rotating. Not only does this create patterns in our body to where we start to stand, sit, move and exercise with those patterns, it also plays a negative role in how we feel. Closing off the chest, can increase anxiety, depression and decrease breathing.

When it comes to the wrists we need to reverse it. if you want to increase hand mobility and if you suffer from tennis elbow, wrist strain, or even shoulder strain, a little extension in the wrists could bring relief.

TRY THIS: Next time you are standing next to your truck, a wall, or even use the steering wheel, turn your forearm up and stretch your palm/wrist out. Try to keep the fold of the elbow facing upward and if you are using your truck, lean your elbow into your body to brace the stretch. If you are in your truck create a full extension on your elbow and keep the eye (the fold) of the elbow facing upward.

PRO TIP: Do this at least twice a day and try to hold this for 30 seconds to one minute. You may notice a ripping like feeling. Don’t be alarmed, that is the fascia of the body stretching and releasing. Think of it like fuzz melting off. If you haven’t melted the fuzz in a while, it’s going to be sticky!

Wrist Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Wrist Stretch in truck mother trucker yoga

SHOULDER & UPPER ARM STRETCH:

When there is physical pain, oftentimes those in pain only look to where they “feel” pain as the culprit of the pain. But when it comes to the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, any one of the three just listed can cause another pain. So next time your wrist or hand is giving you grief, look up a little higher to the shoulder. Tennis elbow? Could be the shoulder to blame. Hand mobility doesn’t just mean you have a hand issue, neighboring body parts can be to blame.

TRY THIS: Next time you are waiting to load or unload, have a little downtime or are on break, try this quick and easy shoulder and upper arm stretch. Simple cross one arm in front of your chest and latch it in with the other, hugging it tightly. Try to straighten the arm that is laying across your chest to increase the stretch. Hold it for at least 30 seconds. And then repeat the opposite side.

PRO TIP: While stretching, it is important to try to relax your shoulders and breathe deeply. Hold the stretch until the initial pain drops at least in half. Look towards the stretching arms side to get the neck involved as well.

Shoulder Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Don’t let pain be the reason you stop doing what you love. Or keep you from your job. Taking preventative measures is one of the best ways to keep your body working with you and not against you. Regular stretching not only is good for the body, but it releases endorphins to the brain and leaves you happier and healthier.

The next time your wrists and hands start calling a TIME OUT, remember these simple easy stretches you can do no matter where the open road takes you.

And don’t forget about our Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream, perfect to use after you stretch your hands, wrists, and arms. Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was specifically formulated for professional truck drivers to meet their body’s pain in contact. We believe that every driver can feel better wherever they are with simple easy stretches and practices, one of them being pain relief cream.

No matter where you are, on the road or at home, remember there are simple and easy things you can do today to start to feel your best.

 

Want to read more from Mother Trucker Yoga?

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog