Low back pain among textile workers: A cross-sectional study


Paudyal P, Ayres JG, Semple S & MacFarlane GJ (2013) Low back pain among textile workers: A cross-sectional study. Occupational Medicine, 63 (2), pp. 129-134.

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent occupational health problems in industrialized countries. Little is known about the epidemiology of LBP in developing countries. Aims: To determine the prevalence of LBP among Nepalese textile workers and to investigate the influence of exposure to mechanical and other factors on LBP reporting. Methods: Interviewers completed questionnaires with study subjects, and work-related mechanical exposures were measured by self-completed questionnaires. Associations of LBP with mechanical factors and somatic symptoms were determined by logistic regression and reported as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Nine hundred and thirty-eight workers took part, a participation rate of 92%. The 1 month period prevalence of LBP was 35% (n = 324), being higher in females than males (45% versus 28%; P < 0.001). Several work-related mechanical factors were associated with increased odds of reporting LBP: lifting heavy weights with one hand (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.1-2.8), pushing weights (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.2-2.3 and pulling weights (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.1-2.1). No association was found with working posture. Strong associations were found for reporting one (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.7-3.4) or two somatic symptoms (OR 2.7; 95% CI 1.4-5.1). On multivariable analysis, reporting of somatic symptoms (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.5-5.4), female gender (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.5-3.1) and increasing age were significantly associated with increased risk of reporting LBP (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.5), but no associations were found with mechanical factors. Conclusions: This study suggests that mechanical load may not be the leading cause of LBP and adds to evidence that psychological factors play an important role in LBP in non-industrialized countries. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine.

Occupational Medicine: Volume 63, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2013