Musculoskeletal Disorders in Farmers: Epidemiological Research in Physical Therapy Department of Regional General Hospital, 2008-2014
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) related inflammatory and degenerative diseases leading to pain and functional failures in all age groups. Farming is arduous with many natural hazards and stressors that predispose or cause injuries to the musculoskeletal system. The aim of this study is to present epidemiological data to determine the burden of rural population with MSD against the global population who sought physical therapy services, and to identify the most commonly affected areas of the body during agricultural work. We studied retrospectively all patients' folders (N = 3944), in which Physiotherapy services rendered in public, general hospital of Macedonia in the period January 2008 - December 2014. The allocation of MSDs per physical area used the technique of "body map" identifying nine (9) body regions: neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, back, waist, hips, knees and ankles joints. Statistical analysis using the Microsoft Excel Programme (ver. 2010). The rural population involved the highest percentage (33,36%). The most frequently reported MSD in farmers were located in knee joint (23,18) while the lowest percentage (1,37%) in the ankle and hips. Female farmers reported significantly higher frequencies (30, 26%) of MSD in knee joint while male colleagues in hands (27,40%). Knowledge and education on the use of improved agricultural equipment, safe working methods and proper posture can contribute to mitigating musculoskeletal risks in agriculture.
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