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Eye (Lond). 1994;8 ( Pt 4):473-4.

Back pain in ophthalmologists.

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Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, UK.


A questionnaire regarding the working practices and incidence of back pain was sent to all 498 consultant ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom. Three hundred and twenty-five (65.3%) questionnaires were analysed by time spent in speciality, and time spent operating each week. One hundred and seventy-four ophthalmologists (54%) had significant attacks of back pain, with the longest-serving consultants having an increased incidence. The number and duration of acute attacks increased with years in speciality but was unrelated to time spent operating. Treatment included analgesics in 97 (56%), physiotherapy in 40 (23%), and 'alternative' medical treatment including osteopathy and chiropraxy in 14 (8%); no treatment was needed in 56 (32%). Investigation and treatment increased with years spent in speciality, 49 (28%) seeking medical advice, usually from a specialist, and 69 (39%) requiring further investigations including plain radiographs, CT scans, myelograms and MRI scans. Nine surgeons needed surgery for back pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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