Low back pain syndromes and farmers’ occupational activity
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Z Zakładu Medycyny Fizykalnej i Odnowy Biologicznej Katedra Fizjoterapii, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego w Krakowie
Med Og. 2010;16(4):507–515
Farmers are the largest occupational group in Poland performing hard manual labour which exerts an unfavourable effect on the spine and, therefore, are more exposed to low back pain syndromes (LBPS). The objective of the study is evaluation of the mutual relationships between low back pain syndrome and occupational activity among patients from rural areas. Based on the literature available, on the one hand, work on a farm was analyzed as the cause of low back pain, and on the other hand, LBPS as a limitation of farmers’ functional and occupational capabilities. The following main LBPS risk factors concerning rural inhabitants are most frequently mentioned: hard manual labour, repeated effort associated with lifting loads, frequently repeated movements of flexion and/or rotation, long-lasting inadequate body position at work, frequent operation of mechanical vehicles and exposure to vibration, unfavourable ambient conditions, long working time, and frequent neglect with respect to use of ergonomic work posts. Frequent occurrence of back pain among farmers, compared to non-farmers, may also be due to psychological risk factors of LBP which, to a greater extent, concern the population living in the rural environment. Back pain, and associated with it limitations in the spinal flexion and weakening of the trunk muscles, impair the occupational activity and everyday functioning of farmers. Based on the literature available, low back pain syndromes often occur among rural inhabitants. The character of work performed on a farm is an important risk factor of this disease. Pain complaints occurring as a result of occupational activity are among the most frequent causes of their disability, or certification of temporary or permanent incapability for work on farm.