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Appl Ergon. 2011 Nov;42(6):801-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Feb 5.

The interaction between skill, postures, forces and back pain in wool handling.

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1
Centre for Physiotherapy Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. stephan.milosavljevic@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Wool handling is an important rural occupation where workers process 200 or more fleeces daily, separating them into various quality components. Loads and postures they experience carry substantial risk of low back pain (LBP). Although a formal skill training structure exists, interaction with loads and LBP is unknown. We examined whether skill and LBP influenced trunk postures and loads of 60 wool handlers representing 3 skill levels. LBP prevalence ranged from 20% for junior (lowest skill) to 45% for open class (highest skill) wool handlers. Open class wool handlers demonstrated increased lateral bend and more axially twisted postures, generating greater medio-lateral shear forces and lateral bend and axial twist moments. LBP was associated with open class wool handlers spending more time in severe axially twisted postures. These findings suggest that skill-based training needs to be reviewed to reduce the quantity of axially twisted posture which may help reduce the prevalence of LBP in this workforce.

PMID:
21296337
DOI:
10.1016/j.apergo.2011.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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