Estimation of work-related back pain syndrome in emergency medical services personnel
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Pracownia Elektrodiagnostyki Medycznej Katedria i Zakład Profilaktyki Zdrowotnej Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu, Polska
Izba przyjęć z depozytem Szpital Kliniczny im. H. Święcickiego w Poznaniu, Polska
Zakład Ratownictwa Medycznego Katedra Medycyna Ratunkowej Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu, Polska
Corresponding author
Monika Kowalczyk   

Pracownia Elektrodiagnostyki Medycznej Katedria i Zakład Profilaktyki Zdrowotnej Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu, Przybyszewskiego 49, 60-355, Poznań, Polska
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2020;26(1):66-71
Emergency medical services personnel is an occupational group exposed to the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders in relation to the work performed, including back pain syndrome (BPS). The most frequent causes of BPS are unfavourable environmental factors, repeated patient handling during the day, and forced body positions at work.

The aim of the study was to assess the occurrence of BPS in relation to the work performed and its impact on functional disability in paramedics.

Material and methods:
The study included 70 emergency medical services personnel aged 24–56 years working in shift mode in Greater Poland. The survey included questions about socio-demographic data, characteristics of the work of paramedics, intensity of back pain according to the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scale and level of disability on the Oswestry Questionnaire

Every paramedic declared the occurrence of BPS. The majority (61%) felt pain in the spine a few times a month, most often (65%) in the lumbosacral segment. BPS in more than half (56%) of the respondents caused moderate pain on the VAS scale. The level of disability in 70% of respondents was minimal. Intensity of back pain had the greatest impact on functional limitations in the daily life of the subjects (p <0.05)

In the occupational group of paramedics, the problem of the prevalence of BPS is common. In order to reduce back strains during work, it is recommended to use appropriate equipment for lifting and handling patients and to organize periodic training about ergonomics. Paramedics should be encouraged to take regular physical activity to prevent back pain.

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