Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injuries Among Students Entering a Chiropractic College

Parker College Research Institute, Dallas, Tex, USA.
Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics (Impact Factor: 1.48). 03/2009; 32(2):134-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.12.011
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to report the prevalence, distribution, and severity of injuries to students before entering chiropractic college and to explore the possible demographic risk factors to these injuries.
A cross-sectional survey was administered to first-year chiropractic students (n = 255) of one chiropractic college. Survey questions were adopted from the Standardized Nordic and Outcome Assessment Health Status Questionnaires. Data were collected on severity and period of last perception of low back, hand/wrist (HW), and neck/shoulder (NS) injuries of the students before attending chiropractic college.
The response rate was 98.8% (N = 252), among which 66.7% were males. Injury prevalence to low back, HW, and NS before attending chiropractic college was 50.4%, 40.1%, and 53.2%, respectively. Of the respondents, 48.8% were overweight/obese and they were more likely to report injuries to HW (odds ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-3.51) and NS (odds ratio, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-2.73) compared with those with normal weight. Among those with injuries, the mean body mass index for the females was significantly greater than for the males.
This study identified a high prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries among students before attending this particular chiropractic college. Only a small percentage of those injuries were severe enough to impede normal daily work. From this study sample, it seems that males entering this chiropractic college tend to report more injuries than females. However, females with high BMI seemed to report more previous injuries.

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