Association of perceived physical overload at work with pain and disability in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain: a 6-month longitudinal study

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2019-07-01

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Background: Physical overload at work has been described as a risk factor for the development of low back pain. However, few studies have investigated the prognostic value of perceived physical overload at work in patients with chronic low back pain. Objective: To investigate the association of perceived physical overload at work with pain and disability over a period of 6 months in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain. Methods: Patients with chronic LBP seeking physiotherapy care were considered eligible. Clinical data collected were: pain intensity, disability, fear of movement, depression and perceived physical overload at work. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate the association of perceived physical workload at work at baseline with pain intensity and disability at 6-month follow-up. The total score and the score for each category of the physical overload at work questionnaire were analyzed separately. Results: Ninety-two patients with chronic low back pain were included in the analysis. The subcategories of the physical overload questionnaire were not significantly associated with pain intensity at 6-month follow-up. However, age, disability at baseline and perceived physical overload related to postures of the trunk (B = −0.60 95% CI − 1.18 to − 0.02) and related to positions of the arms (B = 2.72 95% CI 0.07 to 5.37) were significantly associated with disability at 6-month follow-up. Conclusion: Although perceived physical overload at work was not associated with pain intensity in patients with chronic LBP at 6-month follow-up, we identified a significant association between perceived physical overload related to postures of the trunk and positions of the arms with disability at 6-month follow-up. Graphical abstract: These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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European Spine Journal, v. 28, n. 7, p. 1586-1593, 2019.

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