FMCSA hires medical center to study truckers’ back pain

WASHINGTON — The impacts of lower back pain on truck drivers is being studied by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Both institutions have announced that Dr. Eric M. Wood will conduct a cross-sectional study of 200 commercial motor vehicle drivers from several large trucking firms to investigate risk factors for low back pain and impairment potentially related to treatment and medication associated with low back pain.

FMCSA estimates truckers are 50 to 75 percent more likely to have low back disorders than the general population.

Dr. Wood is the Associate Residency Program Director at Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is currently involved as an investigator in two major prospective cohort studies of musculoskeletal disorders; one on low back pain and the other on upper extremity disorders.

“An increased understanding of how musculoskeletal disorders affect driver safety and contribute to impairment and subsequent crashes, will serve as a key element in developing new physical qualification standards for commercial motor vehicle drivers,” stated the FMCSA.

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