Scand J Work Environ Health 1978;4 suppl 1:54-58    pdf | Issue date: 1978

Symptoms and signs of degenerative back disease in concrete reinforcement workers.

by Wickström G

Concrete reinforcement work causes great static loads on the back from the prolonged adoption of bent-double work postures during the tying of steel rods and from substantial dynamic loads during the lifting and pulling of rods from the stack. Subjective manifestations and objective signs of "degenerative back disease" are common in active reinforcement workers. An age- and sex-adjusted comparison of the findings was, however, possible only with one other occupational group, computer technicians, who also often work in awkward positions. A history of sciatica and pain during forward bending in a clinical examination were significantly more common in reinforcement workers than in computer technicians. This finding suggests an effect of reinforcement work on the back, but definite conclusions require further study.