Is your work repetitive? Do you exert your hands for a prolonged
period of time? Are you frequently lifting, pushing, pulling
or carrying heavy objects? If so, your working conditions
may be exposing you to an increased risk for musculoskeletal
1994 alone, there were 705,800 musculoskeletal cases involving
days away from work.
You're probably well-aware of the relationship between workload
and low back pain (LBP). In recent months, we’ve reported
on several studies documenting risk factors for LBP -- and
there's more. In a recent study published in Spine,
a working population was observed to identify high-risk factors
for injury to the musculoskeletal system. The objective of
the analysis was to determine to what extent body rotation
and lifting are factors for work-related injuries. A high
risk of LBP was observed for workers whose work involved rotation
of the trunk (literally, twisting or turning the upper body)
at a minimum of 60 degrees of flexion for more than 5% of
working time, and for workers who worked with the trunk in
a minimum of 30 degrees of rotation for more than 10% of the
working time. The same was true for workers who lifted a load
of at least 25 kilograms (about 55 lbs.) more than 15 times
per working day.
If your work environment and/or job responsibilities put
you at risk for back pain or other repetitive-motion musculoskeletal
injuries, talk to your doctor about ways to limit your risk.
For more information on back pain, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/backpain.html.
Reference: Hoogendoorn WE, Bongers
P, de Vet HCW, et al. Flexion and rotation of the trunk and
lifting at work factors are risk factors for low back pain.
Spine 2000: Vol. 25, No. 23, pp 3087-3092.