Incidence of work-related low back pain in physical therapists

M. Molumphy, B. Unger, Gail Jensen, R. B. Lopopolo

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-486
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Therapy
Volume65
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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Molumphy, M., Unger, B., Jensen, G., & Lopopolo, R. B. (1985). Incidence of work-related low back pain in physical therapists. Physical Therapy, 65(4), 482-486.