Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/510
Title: The prevalence and risk factors for occupational low back pain in manual therapists
Authors: Pereira, Nicole
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Manual therapists are susceptible to occupational low back pain. The aim of
this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for occupational
low back pain in manual therapists and to determine and compare the
prevalence and risk factors for occupational low back pain among various
types of manual therapists in South Africa.
This study was conducted as a cross-sectional survey and a self-administered
questionnaire, developed from the literature and validated prior to the study,
was mailed to 1500 randomly selected manual therapists, including:
physiotherapists, occupational therapists, biokineticists, chiropractors,
reflexologists, aromatherapists and massage therapists. A total of 233
completed questionnaires were returned, giving a response rate of 15.53%.
Results revealed that the point prevalence of low back pain in manual
therapists was very high at 41%, the one-year prevalence was 59% and the
career prevalence was 74%. The point prevalence of low back pain was
highest in aromatherapists and biokineticists, while both the one-year and
career prevalence of low back pain was highest in occupational therapists and
massage therapists. The risk factors for low back pain in manual therapists
were: BMI; previous abdominal surgery; previous trauma to the low back,
hips, knees or ankles; a physically stressful job; not having an assistant and
work in a hospital or other setting. In keeping with the literature, various workrelated
factors were implicated in the development and / or exacerbation of
low back pain in certain manual therapists more than others and low back
pain history in the different manual therapists was also in accordance with the
literature.
To conclude, low back pain is prevalent among South African manual
therapists and the development and implementation of preventative programs
to reduce rates of occupational low back pain in manual therapists is
mandatory.
Description: Dissertation submitted in partial compliance with the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, 2009.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/510
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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