Incidence of work-related low back pain in physical therapists

Physical Therapy (Impact Factor: 2.53). 05/1985; 65(4):482-6.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of work-related low back pain (LBP) in physical therapists and to identify common characteristics of therapists who reported work-related LBP. Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 500 registered physical therapists. Of the 344 (69%) questionnaires returned, 29 percent reported work-related LBP. The initial onset most frequently occurred between the ages of 21 and 30 years and within the first four years of experience as a physical therapist. Eighty-three percent of the therapists first incurred work-related LBP during treatment of patients, primarily in acute care and rehabilitation facilities. "Lifting with sudden maximal effort" and "bending and twisting" were frequent mechanisms of injury. Further research is necessary to investigate the effect work-related LBP has on productivity and quality of patient care within facilities and to identify preventive measures to decrease the incidence of work-related LBP.

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    • "Nevertheless, results of longitudinal observations which could detect the potential consequences of long-term physical workload on the recurring complaints of physical therapists are missing. Some cross-sectional studies indicated exposures of physiotherapy work which seem to be relevant in this way, for example: high frequency of treatments [9,11,12], lifting and transferring of patients [13,17,18], bent and twisted treatment positions [10,11,17] as well as the application of manual techniques [12] are missing. "
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    ABSTRACT: Only few studies deal with the workload of physical therapists and the health consequences, although this occupational group is quite important for the health care system in many industrialized countries (e.g. ca. 136 000 people are currently employed as physical therapists in Germany). Therefore, the current state of knowledge of work-related diseases and disorders of physical therapists is insufficient. The aim of the "Physical Therapist Cohort" (PTC) study is to analyze the association between work-related exposures and diseases among physical therapists in Germany. This article describes the protocol of the baseline assessment of the PTC study. A cross-sectional study will be conducted as baseline assessment and will include a representative random sample of approximately 300 physical therapists employed in Germany (exposure group), and a population-based comparison group (n = 300). The comparison group will comprise a sample of working aged (18-65 years) inhabitants of a German city. Variables of interest will be assessed using a questionnaire manual including questions regarding musculoskeletal, dermal, and infectious diseases and disorders as well as psychosocial exposures, diseases and disorders. In addition to subjective measures, a clinical examination will be used to objectify the questionnaire-based results (n = 50). The study, which includes extensive data collection, provides a unique opportunity to study the prospective association of work-related exposures and associated complaints of physical therapists. Baseline results will give first clues with regard to whether and how prevalent main exposures of physiotherapeutic work and typical work areas of physical therapists are associated with the development of work-related diseases. Thereby, this baseline assessment provides the basis for further investigations to examine causal relationships in accordance with a longitudinal design.
    Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 12/2013; 8(1):34. DOI:10.1186/1745-6673-8-34 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    • "The most common region was the low back, followed by the wrist and hand. In another investigation [11], 83% of 344 physical therapists who returned completed questionnaires indicated that they were treating or handling a patient when they first experienced lower back pain on the job. When asked to select the mechanism of injury, 24% of the respondents selected " lifting with sudden maximal "
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    ABSTRACT: Two forms of energy healing, Reconnective Healing (RH) and Reiki, which involve light or no touch, were tested for efficacy against physical therapy (PT) for increasing limited range of motion (ROM) of arm elevation in the scapular plane. Participants were assigned to one of 5 groups: PT, Reiki, RH, Sham Healing, or no treatment. Except for no treatment, participants were blinded as to grouping. Range of Motion, self-reported pain, and heart rate variability (HRV) were assessed before and after a 10-minute session. On average, for PT, Reiki, RH, Sham Healing, and no treatment, respectively, ROM increased by 12°, 20°, 26°, 0.6°, and 3° and pain score decreased by 11.5%, 10.1%, 23.9%, 15.4%, and 0%. Physical therapy, Reiki, and RH were more effective than Sham Healing for increasing ROM (PT: F = 8.05, P = 0.008; Reiki: F = 10.48, P = 0.003; RH: F = 30.19, P < 0.001). It is possible that this improvement was not mediated by myofascial release because the subjects' HRV did not change, suggesting no significant increase in vagal activity. Sham treatment significantly reduced pain compared to no treatment (F = 8.4, P = 0.007) and was just as effective as PT, Reiki, and RH. It is the authors' opinion that the accompanying pain relief is a placebo effect.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2013; 2013(11):329731. DOI:10.1155/2013/329731 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "A source of stress within the chiropractic profession, as well as the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dentistry professions,48-53 is a relatively high incidence of work-related injuries. For many professions, injury history, area of practice specialization, or work environment has been identified as potential risk of work-related injuries.54 "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this narrative review is to discuss the potential for burnout in chiropractic practitioners. This discussion is grounded in the job demands-resource model, the conservation of resources model, the unique profession-specific stressors experienced by chiropractors, and information from similar health care professions. A search using both the indexed (PubMed and PsychLit) and nonindexed psychosocial literature was used. Other resources included the Cochrane Library, articles from governing bodies of the chiropractic profession, trade magazines, and research conferences and symposium proceedings. Articles were analyzed following the grounded theory principles: open coding and memos for conceptual labeling, axial coding and memos for category building, and selective coding for model building. Potential stressors unique to doctors of chiropractic include factors associated with physical workload, role stress, and mental and emotional demands. There are unique chiropractic-specific occupational characteristics that possibly contribute to burnout in the chiropractic professionals. These findings emphasize the need for assessing and measuring burnout and attrition within the chiropractic profession.
    Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 12/2011; 18(1):86-93. DOI:10.1016/j.echu.2011.09.003
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