WHAT DO PHYSIOTHERAPISTS AND MANUAL HANDLING ADVISORS CONSIDER THE SAFEST LIFTING POSTURE, AND DO BACK BELIEFS INFLUENCE THEIR CHOICE?

Review written by Simon Kirkegaard info

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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Low back pain (LBP) is a complex multifactorial disorder with contributing factors across biopsychosocial domains. Physical demands have only shown to account for a modest proportion of LBP in the workforce and despite a lack of evidence it is commonly believed that lifting is dangerous and a straight back during lifting is protective. This study aimed to explore (i) what lifting posture physiotherapists (PTs) and manual handling advisors (MHAs) believed to be the safest, and why, and (ii) the back pain beliefs of MHAs and PTs.

METHODS

An electronic survey was used to collect data. 400 PTs and MHAs completed the survey which included demographics, questions thought to influence the beliefs about the safest lifting posture, and Back-Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ). The PTs and MHAs were also asked to select the safest lifting posture from four pictures with different lifting postures, two with a rounded back and two with a straight back.

RESULTS

Only 24.4% of the PTs and 9.1% of the MHAs chose lifting with a rounded back. PTs were almost 2.5 times more likely to choose a rounded back posture and scored a mean of 30.7 points less compared to MHAs

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