PURPOSE: To investigate the risk of developing non-chronic and chronic low back pain (LBP) from frequency, load mass and trunk postures of occupational lifting and carrying among female healthcare workers. METHODS: A total of 9,847 workers in eldercare answered a questionnaire about occupational lifting and carrying frequency (rarely, occasionally and frequently), load mass (low: 1-7 kg, moderate: 8-30 kg and heavy: >30 kg), trunk posture (upright or forward bent back), and days with LBP in 2005. The odds ratio (OR) for developing non-chronic (1-30 days the last 12 months) and chronic (>30 days the last 12 months) LBP reported in 2006 from these characteristics of occupational lifting and carrying was investigated with multi-adjusted logistic regressions among female healthcare workers without LBP in 2005 (n = 1,612). RESULTS: Frequently lifting and carrying low load mass with forward bent back doubled the risk for developing chronic LBP (OR: 2.14; 95 % CI: 1.02-4.50). Occasionally and frequently lifting or carrying of any load mass with upright back did not increase the risk for chronic LBP. Lifting and carrying did not increase the risk for non-chronic LBP. CONCLUSIONS: Preventive initiatives for LBP among healthcare workers ought to pay attention to frequent lifting and carrying of low load mass with forward bent back.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2012