Assessment of musculoskeltal system pain complaints reported by forestry workers
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Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, Chair of Health, Biała Podlaska, Poland
University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland
According to the European Occupational Diseases Statistics (EODS-2005) diseases related with musculoskeletal disorders occupy the first position on the obligatory list of occupational diseases. These disorders most frequently occur in the agriculture-hunting-forestry sector in such countries as: Finland, Holland, Germany, France and Spain (data: EU-OSHA).

Material and methods:
The study included a selected group of males – 414 forestry workers, employees of the State Forests, aged 25–65, mean age 48. The control group were 119 office workers aged 23–64, mean age 45.8. The basic research instrument was a questionnaire designed by specialists concerning pain complaints occurring in 7 areas of the motor system: neck, arms, upper and lower back, hips, knees and feet.

The results of the survey showed that in the selected group of forestry workers, among 7 investigated areas of the motor system, the most frequently reported pain complaints involved the lower part of the spine (272 persons, 65.7% of the total number of respondents). In the control group such pain complaints occurred in 55.5% (66) of office workers (p = 0.04). Forestry workers most often described this pain as permanent, radiating to the leg, or as an acute pain. According to the frequency of reporting pain, the area of the knees was placed on the second position (214 foresters; 51.7%).

The work of a forester which consist, among other things, in relocation on foot or by vehicle over long distances along an uneven terrain and in various weather conditions, is a risk factor of the occurrence of musculosceletal disorders concerning the low back and knees

Piotr Choina   
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
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