Scand J Work Environ Health 1978;4 suppl 1:29-38    pdf | Issue date: 1978

Restriction and pain during forward bending in concrete reinforcement workers.

by Wickström G, Nummi J, Nurminen M

Two hundred and ninety-five male Finnish concrete reinforoement workers, aged 19-64 years and engaged in heavy physical work including prolonged stooping, were clinically examined in a cross-sectional study. Restriction of lumbar flexion was found in 38% of the men, and pain during forward bending in 19%. Restriction of lumbar flexion was strongly related to age, while pain during forward bending showed a weaker association. A history of sciatica was more common in the men with restriction during forward bending (chi2 =6.0, P<0.05) and in the men with pain during forward bending (chi2 =17.2, P<0.001) than in the men without. Restricted lumbar flexion was related to diminished back muscle performance capacity (chi2 = 18.7, P<0.001) and straight abdominal muscle performance capacity (chi2 = 28.0, P<0.001). Pain during forward bending was also related to diminished back muscle (chi2 =25.3, P<0.001) and straight abdomina,l muscle (chi2 = 21.2, P<0.0(1) performanoe capacity. The prevalence of radiologically detectable lumbar disc degeneration was associated with restricted lumbar flexion (chi2 = 20.2, P<0.001). Comparison of the occurrence of restricted lumbar flexion and pain during forward bending to length of reinforcement work experience showed no relation I3fter adjustment for age. When reinforcement workers were compared to computer technicians, restricted lumbar flexion was equally common in both groups, while the occurrenoe of pain during forward bending was morecommon among reinforcement workers (chi2 = 8.6, P<0.01).