Lower back pain (LBP) is the most common musculoskeletal disorder, with a lifetime prevalence of 80%. It has considerable economic, societal, and public health impacts, resulting in lower worker productivity and high compensation, and it is the leading cause of disability globally.
Dr. Tewodros Yosef of Mizan-Tepi University in Ethiopia and their colleagues evaluated the prevalence of LBP in long-distance truck drivers, an occupation known to be associated with LBP. The study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, aimed to identify and assess contributing factors for LBP among drivers at the Modjo dry port in Ethiopia. Data were collected through individual face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire, and were analyzed with binary logistic regression.
Of the 422 respondents, 260 (65%) reported having lower back pain within the past 12 months. The authors identified several modifiable risk factors: smoking cigarettes, physical inactivity, chronic diseases other than LBP, frequent lifting or carrying heavy objects, perceived improper sitting posture while driving, and perceived job stress. The researchers concluded that policy makers should prioritize actions aimed at reducing these risks, and conduct regular follow-ups on safety procedures, to mitigate the problem of LBP.
This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by David Jury.