The interaction between skill, postures, forces and back pain in wool handling
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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.
© 2011 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified