Complaints of low back pain among private farmers exposed to whole body vibration
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Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. W. Chodźki / Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland (Zakład Fizycznych Szkodliwości Zawodowych / Department of Physical Occupational Hazards)
Leszek Solecki   

Zakład Fizycznych Szkodliwości Zawodowych, Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. W. Chodźki, ul. Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090 Lublin
Med Pr 2014;65(1):55–64
Introduction: Work-related lower back disorders , which involve the lumbo-sacral region, as well as injuries of the lumbar section of the spine, are a serious and constantly growing problem in Europe. Whole body vibration is one of the major hazardous factors suspected of the development of back pain. Material and Methods: The study covered a selected group of males, 98 farmers (aged 55.3±10.1) from the area of 7 communes in the Lublin Region, engaged in the mixed agricultural production (plant-animal). The control group consisted of 40 academic workers (university and research institute employees) aged 48.9±9.6 years. A questionnaire concerning low back pain (in the lumbar region) designed by the researchers of the Institute of Rural Health in Lublin was used as a major research tool. The degree of farmers' exposure to whole body vibration was evaluated based on the parameter known as a cumulative vibration dose (d) (years×m2×s-4). Results: The measurements showed that the cumulative vibration dose for the selected group of farmers (98) remained within the range of 2.90-9.68 (years×m2×s-4), in the time interval between 15-50 years of work in conditions of exposure to vibration. The survey confirmed that private farmers exposed to whole body vibration considerably more frequently complained of back pain (92 farmers, 94% of the total number of respondents), than academic workers (control group not exposed to whole body vibration (25 researchers, 63%); p < 0.0001. Also the frequency of back pain in all the three time intervals of employment (15-25, 26-35, 36-50 years) is significantly higher in the group of farmers than in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The frequency of back pains experienced by farmers during the entire period of occupational activity increases with a growing dose of whole body vibration (p = 0.005). In the incidence of chronic pain an upward tendency was observed (statistically insignificant). Med Pr 2014;65(1):55–64