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Work. 2005;24(2):101-10.

The etiology of low back pain in military helicopter aviators: prevention and treatment.

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School of Health and Human Performance Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 3J5.


Low back pain (LPB) is a major health problem among military rotary-wing aircrews worldwide. In order to define the etiology and propose remedies to LBP in helicopter aviators a review and critique of the literature was conducted. In-flight sitting posture and vibration generated by the aircraft were identified as high risk factors for LBP. Consequently, researchers recommended ergonomic modifications to the crew stations. The efficacy of these technical interventions has not been proven. As well, these design changes are not financially practical. Following an in depth kinesiological analysis of the physical demands of this type of flying, and preliminary experimentation, an alternative aeromedical approach focusing on the aircrew rather than the craft is presented. The authors propose a set of flight-specific exercises that might effectively deal with this problem. A thorough testing of this approach is envisioned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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