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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 152-158

Work-related musculoskeletal pain and health-seeking behavior among Nigerian sewing machine operators

1 Department of Physiotherapy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiotherapy, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Olufemi Oyeleye Oyewole
Department of Physiotherapy, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2001, Sagamu
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DOI: 10.4103/1119-0388.185446

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Background: Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is the most common occupational health risk among sewing machine operators and their health-seeking behavior is not well understood. This study assessed the prevalence, pattern, and predictors of work-related MSP and health-seeking behavior among Nigeria sewing machine operators. Materials and Methods: Three hundred and twenty-five purposively selected registered sewing machine operators who have worked for at least a year without musculoskeletal trauma participated in this cross-sectional descriptive survey. Information on MSP and health-seeking behavior were collected through questionnaire interview. Results: Almost 69% (223/325) and 98% (318/325) of the participants reported the experience of MSP in the last 7-day and 12-month, respectively. Among those who reported the experience of pain, the most common pain site was low back, followed by the neck, while the elbow was the least common pain site. When the report of experience of pain was adjusted for sex, the same pattern of body regional distribution of pain was observed. Almost 36% (116/325) reported that MSP was due to a combination of work activities and position while 21% (69/325) reported that either work activities or position resulted in MSP. Majority (88%) of participants experienced limitation in daily activities as a result of MSP. The most sought after health-seeking behavior was self-medication (31.4%) followed by herbal preparations (17.8%). Only 3.7% (12/325) sought hospital treatment only and 2.5% sought hospital treatment in addition to other treatments. Only the factor "does pain limit activities" predicted MSP. Conclusion: Work-related MSP is prevalent among Nigerian sewing machine operators, and low back is the most common pain site. Only the factor "does pain limit activities" predicted MSP. Many of them engage in self-medication to alleviate their pain.

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