Non-specific low back pain: occupational or lifestyle consequences?
Background: Nursing occupation was identified as a risk occupation for the development of low back pain (LBP). The aim of our study was to find out how much occupational factors influence the development of LBP in hospital nursing personnel.
Patients and methods: Non-experimental approach with a cross-sectional survey and statistical analysis. Nine hundred questionnaires were distributed among nursing personnel, 663 were returned and 659 (73.2 %) were considered for the analysis. Univariate and multivariate statistics for LBP risk was calculated by the binary logistic regression. The χ2, influence factor, 95 % confidence interval and P value were calculated. Multivariate binary logistic regression was calculated by the Wald method to omit insignificant variables.
Results: Not performing exercises represented the highest risk for the development of LBP (OR 2.8, 95 % CI 1.7–4.4; p < 0.001). The second and third ranked risk factors were frequent manual lifting > 10 kg (OR 2.4, 95 % CI 1.5–3.8; p < 0.001) and duration of employment ≥ 19 years (OR 2.4, 95 % CI 1.6–3.7; p < 0.001). The fourth ranked risk factor was better physical condition by frequent recreation and sports, which reduced the risk for the development of LBP (OR 0.4, 95 % CI 0.3–0.7; p = 0.001). Work with the computer ≥ 2 h per day as last significant risk factor also reduced the risk for the development of LBP (OR 0.6, 95 % CI 0.4–0.1; p = 0.049).
Conclusion: Risk factors for LBP established in our study (exercises, duration of employment, frequent manual lifting, recreation and sports and work with the computer) are not specifically linked to the working environment of the nursing personnel. Rather than focusing on mechanical causes and direct workload in the development of non-specific LBP, the complex approach to LBP including genetics, psychosocial environment, lifestyle and quality of life is coming more to the fore.