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Neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities among drivers of all-terrain vehicles - a case series.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
2004 (English)In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, ISSN 1471-2474, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) with neck pain have a different array of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities than a referent group with neck pain from the general population. It is hypothesized that exposure to shock-type vibration and unfavorable working postures in ATVs have the capacity to cause peripheral nervous lesions. METHODS: This study was based on a case series analyzed according to a case-case comparison design. The study population consisted of 60 male subjects, including professional drivers of forest machines (n = 15), snowmobiles (n = 15), snowgroomers (n = 15) and referents from the general population (n = 15) all of whom had reported neck pain in a questionnaire and underwent an extensive physical examination of the neck and upper extremities. Based on symptom history, symptoms and signs, and in some cases chemical, electroneurographical and radiological findings, subjects were classified as having a nociceptive or neuropathic disorder or a mix of these types. RESULTS: The occurrence of asymmetrical and focal neuropathies (peripheral nervous lesion), pure or in a mix with a nociceptive disorder was common among cases in the ATV driver groups (47%-79%). This contrasted with the referents that were less often classified as having asymmetrical and focal neuropathy (27%), but instead had more nociceptive disorders. The difference was most pronounced among drivers of snowgroomers, while drivers of forest machines were more frequently classified as having a nociceptive disorder originating in the muscles. CONCLUSION: This study found a high prevalence of assymetrical and focal neuropathies among drivers with pain in the neck, operating various ATVs. It seems as if exposure to shock-type whole-body vibration (WBV) and appurtenant unfavorable postures in ATVs may be associated to peripheral nervous lesions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 5, no 1
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18797DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-5-1PubMedID: 14718063OAI: diva2:174807
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2010-08-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Musculoskeletal disorders and whole-body vibration exposure among professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Musculoskeletal disorders and whole-body vibration exposure among professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Musculoskeletal disorders are common among professional driver groups. Ergonomic risk factors at work are often suggested as causative, aggravating or preserving. The general aim with this thesis is to investigate the association between musculoskeletal disorders and physical exposure with special with special focus on whole-body vibration (WBV), among professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Drivers of ATVs are expsosed to high magnitudes of WBV and shock. This thesis included drivers of forest machines, snowgroomers and snowmobiles. A cross-sectional study revealed that ATV drivers had an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck-shoulder and thoracic regions, even after adjusting for age, smoking habits and psychosocial stress. Prevalence rates were in the range of 1.5-2.9 (CI:1.2-5.2) compared to an age-matched group from the general population. No group of ATV drivers had a significantly increased risk of low back pain. Trend analysis showed no association between symptoms and exposure time. A clinical investigation of a subgroup found that it was for ATV drivers with neck pain to have assymetrical and focal neuropathies, pure or in mix with a nociceptive disorder, in the neck and upper extremities (47-79%), which was in contrast to referents with neck pain who had more nociceptive disorders (27% prevalence of neuropathy). Two studies measured characteristics of seated WBV exposure in forest machines (forwarders), snowgroomers and snowmobiles. The magnitudes of WBV in ATVs, measured and analyzed according to ISO 2631-1, were between 0.5-3.5 m/s2 (frequency weighted vector sum), which was considered high compared to limits suggested by the international standard ISO 2631-1 and the physical agent directive from the Euoropean Union (0.5 m/s2, rms). Drivers of ATVs were exposed to horizontally directed WBV and shocks. Non-neutral neck postures are ergonomic risk factors that occured infrequently and with short duration. The magnitude of seated WBV in forwarder vehicles varied substantiálly depending on model, terrain condition and driver. This may result in different conclusions regarding health risk assessments. The main conclusion from this thesis is that musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders in the neck and upper extremities, among drivers of ATVs, may be a result of long-time exposure to shock-type and horisozontally oriented seated WBV.

85 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 852
Medicine, Whole-body vibration, Shock, Ergonomics, Epidemiology, Musculoskeletal, Driver, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-216 (URN)91-7305-517-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-04-16, Stora Föresläsningssalen, Arbetslivsinstitutet, Campus, Umeå, 13:00
Available from: 2004-03-24 Created: 2004-03-24 Last updated: 2010-08-11Bibliographically approved

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