Objective: Analysis of a dose–response pattern between exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) and low back pain (LBP) in a group of drivers.
Methods: This study assessed individual factors, work-related risk factors, various LBP outcome measures and LBP disability in a group of drivers (n = 571) approached at baseline (T0), as well as the WBV magnitude of a representative sample of their vehicles (n = 49), at T0 and at 1-year follow-up (T1). Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire and actual field measurements according to ISO 2631-1. The magnitude and duration of vibration exposure and a variety of daily and cumulative WBV-exposure measures were calculated for each driver.
Results: 229 drivers (40.1%) completed both questionnaires (T0 and T1). The magnitude of WBV was comparable over time. Depending on the LBP outcome, various individual factors (marital status, back trauma and smoking) and work-related risk factors (previous job with heavy physical loading, lifting, bending and the physical risk index) related significantly to onset (all, p<0.05). After adjusting for these contributing factors, the study found a significant trend (an increase in odds ratios of developing LBP with an increase in WBV exposure) for driving-related LBP with daily driving time (p<0.03), and the cumulative measures total hours of exposure (p<0.01), root sum of squares at total dose (p<0.05) and root sum of quads at total dose (p<0.01). No significant trend was found for 12-month LBP. No analysis on a possible dose–response pattern could be derived for either LBP intensity or LBP disability, due to low prevalence.
Conclusion: The investigation found a dose–response pattern between WBV exposure and driving-related LBP. No indication of a dose–response pattern was found between WBV exposure and 12-month LBP. Although this dose–response pattern is only an indication, these findings imply that WBV exposure might contribute to the onset of driving-related LBP.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None.
This work is part of the European study: Risks of Occupational Vibration Injuries (VIBRISKS) – EC FP5 Project No. QLK4-2002-02650.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.