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Journal of the Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine 1993;17(2):259-268.
Industrial low back pain in shipyard workers.
Shin, Ji Cheol , Chun, Sae Il
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine , Okpo Daewoo Hospital *Department of Rehabilitation Medicine , Yonsei University College of Medicine
조선소 근로자들의 요통에 관한 고찰
신지철, 전세일*
옥포대우병원 재활의학과 및 연세대학교 의과대학 재활의학교실*

Low back pain is a major cause of industrial disability and has a significant socioeconomic impact. Therefore, we did this study to determine the factors affecting treatment duration and recurrence of industrial low back pain in shipyard workers.

The subjects of this study were eight hundred and fourteen male patients with low back pain, shipyard employees, who visited Okpo Daewoo hospital between January, 1987 and June, 1991, and who were followed up prospectively over a one-year period after return to work.

The mean age of the patients was 31.7 years. The occurrence rate of back sprains or strains was 70.6% and lumbar radiculopathies or herniations of the lumbar disc, 29.4%. The most common cause of low back pain was heavy load lifting(33.3%); and 68,9% complained of having to perform difficult tasks in abnormal postures and of overexertion.

The mean treatment duration from initial onset was about 89 days; 13.0% of this group were chronic cases. In the cases who were diagnosed as lumbar radiculopathies or herniations of the lumbar disc and treated at one or more hospitals, the treatment duration form intial onset was significantly longer(p<0.01).

The recurrence rate of low back pain was 24.1% and the mean period between return to work and recurrence was about 218 days. Of the 196 recurred cases, 25 complained of acute low back pain due to industrial accidents. Duration of employment and diagnosis were significantly associated with the recurrence of industrial low back pain(p<0.01).

The mean treatment duration of the recurrent low back pain group was about 120 days, and revealed a significant positive correlation with the treatment duration from initial onset(p<0.01).

According to the above results, early comprehensive rehabilitative treatment of the patients diagnosed as lumbar radiculopathies or herniations of the lumbar disc, is helpful for reducing chronicity and recurrence of industrial low back pain.

Key Words: Industrial low back pain, Treatment duration, Recurrence
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