News from CREAL
A cross-sectional survey in 18 countries compared the prevalence of disabling low back pain (DLBP) and disabling wrist and hand pain (DWHP) among groups of workers carrying out similar physical activities in different cultural environments. Manolis Kogevinas, CREAL researcher, participated in this study published in Pain.
The findings indicate large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks, which is only partially explained by the personal and socioeconomic risk factors that were analysed.
In Europe, musculoskeletal disorders, especially of the back and upper limb, are the biggest single cause of incapacity for work, with direct costs amounting to between 0.5% and 2% of gross domestic product. In many cases they are attributed to mechanical stresses from occupational activities such as heavy lifting and repetitive movements of the wrist and hand, and this has prompted legislation requiring employers to ensure that methods of work are ergonomically sound.
CREAL press release
Coggon D, et al. Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: Is it the job, the person, or the culture? Pain 2013; 154: 856-63