Background: Chiropractors are a unique group of health care professionals who are at risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Diversity of daily practice imposes different physical demands on the chiropractor. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal injuries in chiropractors in eThekwini municipality and selected risk factors associated with these work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
Methods: The design was a quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive study utilising a self-administered questionnaire, developed specifically for this research. The questionnaire contained sections on personal and practice demographics, with questions pertaining to the single most severe work-related musculoskeletal injury, as well as the second and third most severe work-related musculoskeletal injury.
Results: A response rate of 64% was obtained (n = 62). The life-time prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal injuries was 69% with a predominance of injuries to the upper extremity (50%) and lower back (28.3%). The hand/wrist was the most common anatomical site of injury (31.5%) followed by the lower back (28.3%). Number of years in practice was considered a risk factor as most injuries occurred within the first five years of practice (41.6%). The majority of injuries affected the soft tissue, including ligament sprains (27.5%) and muscle strains (26.6%) and occurred while the practitioner was performing manipulation (38.2%) of the lumbosacral (80.8%) area with the patient in the side posture (61.5%).
Conclusions: The results concur with other studies on work-related musculoskeletal injuries in chiropractors and add insight into risk factors predisposing this population to injury.
Author keywords:Chiropractic — Work-related musculoskeletal injuries — Manipulation — Upper extremity — Low back — Soft tissue injury
Author affiliations: Department of Chiropractic, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Ritson Campus, Durban, South Africa
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full text. PubMed Record