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West Afr J Med. 2008 Apr;27(2):87-91.

Characteristics of back pain among commercial drivers and motorcyclists in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.



Studies have shown that there is a relationship between back pain and long hours of driving among commercial motor drivers (CMDs). It has also been reported that a high number of CMDs suffer from low back pain (LBP) with loss of working hours. However, little is known about the prevalence of back pain among the motorcyclists particularly the commercial motorcyclists (CMCs).


To determine and compare the prevalence of back pain among CMDs and CMCs in Lagos state.


A structured questionnaire was administered to 400 each of CMDs and CMCs. The questionnaire contained four sections of30 items. The respondents were requested to provide information on age, sex, working hour/day, associated back pain and location, pain severity and knowledge of preventive measures. Five hundred and ninety nine returned copies of the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics.


The prevalence of back pain was 193 (64.5%) and 180 (60%) among the CMDs and CMCs respectively. One hundred and seventy eight (59.3%) and 129 (43%) of those who reported back pain among the CMDs and CMCs, complained of LBP. The occurrence of upper back/neck pain was higher in the CMCs {41 (13.7%)} than the CMDs {5 (1.7%)}. Very few respondents {21 (7%) CMDs, and 4 (1.3%) CMCs} were aware of backpain preventive measures and none of the CMCs had formal ergonomics instructions at workplace.


Back pain was a common phenomenon among CMDs and CMCs; while LBP was more prevalent among CMDs, upper back/neck pain was more prevalent among CMCs. Practically, the result of this study can help in preventing occupational injury associated with driving/riding with emphases on good sitting posture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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