Musculoskeletal diseases continue to be one of the most prevalent of all chronic diseases. Over 80% of all Canadians will be affected by low back pain with recurrent rates reported as high as 40%. Of these cases 14% progress to a chronic condition, resulting in a high proportion of the compensation costs. There is still a belief that rest is the best treatment for low back injury and that the body will recover itself. There is also the belief that high intensity work tasks are the only culprit in low back injury. Research supports neither of these points which further highlight the gap in effective communication of research to practice. This research therefore aims to fill this gap and to assess muscle function during low level repetitive tasks to better reflect the nature of the current workplace.
Through the research, a communication strategy will be developed to enhance knowledge exchange between Nova Scotia injured worker groups, workers’ compensation, relevant service providers and the research team to facilitate the development of relevant questions in low back injury and musculoskeletal health research. The researchers will then utilize the information from the communication strategy to identify high-risk occupational groups and tasks to develop a model that evaluates the relationship between low back injury recovery and work duration (physical fatigue).
It is anticipated that this research will enhance knowledge translation/exchange, and demonstrate the feasibility of the multidisciplinary approach to evaluate recovery of low back injury.
John Kozey (Dalhousie University)