Vol 7, No 4 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-11-07

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Spinal pain syndrome incidence among paramedics in emergency response teams

Agnieszka Gonczaryk1, Jaroslaw Piotr Chmielewski2, Agnieszka Strzelecka3, Jaroslaw Fiks4, Tomasz Wojcik3, Magdalena Florek-Luszczki5
Disaster Emerg Med J 2022;7(4):215-224.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Spinal pain syndrome is a condition people of different ages suffer from. Its incidence is determined by many factors: age, gender, genetic disposition, lifestyle, the type and characteristics of one’s occupation, years of work experience. Paramedics are particularly vulnerable to musculoskeletal ailments, due to the professional activities carried out at work: lifting, moving, and carrying patients or medical equip­ment, crossing architectural barriers, forced posture during work, standing, walking, and sitting for long periods. The study aimed to indicate the effect of professional work on the incidence of spinal pain syndrome in paramedics working in mobile Emergency Response Teams.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The research took place between May and September 2019, using diagnostic survey methodology on 238 (223 male, 15 female) paramedics in mobile Emergency Response Teams (ERT) operating in the Masovian voivodship. The mean age was 39.03 ± 9.27 years for males, 31.93 ± 7.76 years for females. The research tool was a self-developed questionnaire.

RESULTS: All participants (100%) suffered from spinal pain syndrome. A majority of the participants (98; 41.18%) reported pain being located in the lumbar area and being related to lifting, moving and carrying patients in teams (149; 62.60%).

CONCLUSIONS: Spinal pain syndrome is a widespread phenomenon among ERT paramedics. The incidence and nature of lumbar area pain are strictly related to the type of work paramedics do. Applying rules of work ergonomics and using aid affects incidence and decreases the frequency of SPS.

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Disaster and Emergency Medicine Journal