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Low back pain and biomechanical characteristics of back muscles in firefighters

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-16, 23:17 authored by Pui W Kong, Tommy YW Kan, Roslan Abdul Ghani Bin Mohamed Jamil, Wei-Peng TeoWei-Peng Teo, Jing W Pan, Noor Hafiz Abd Halim, Hasan Kuddoos Abu Bakar Maricar, David Hostler
Firefighters often experience low back pain (LBP), but their back muscle characteristics are not well studied. This study aimed to 1) compare the biomechanical characteristics of back muscles and self-reported back disabilities in frontline firefighters with and without LBP history, and 2) examine the relationships between back disability and biomechanical measurements. We recruited 42 male firefighters and assessed their perceived pain and disabilities, maximum isometric back extension strength, passive stiffness, and fatigability of the longissimus. 54.8% of the participants experienced LBP within the past year. Those indicating higher pain intensity also had greater disability as indicated by the Oswestry Disability Index. There were no significant differences in strength, stiffness or fatigability of the back muscles between firefighters with and without LBP history. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed no significant relationship between the back disability and any biomechanical or demographic measures, likely due to the high functional abilities of the participants.

History

Journal

Ergonomics

Volume

ahead-of-print

Pagination

1-10

Location

England

ISSN

0014-0139

eISSN

1366-5847

Language

en

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

ahead-of-print

Publisher

Informa UK Limited