Author(s): Omokhodion FO, Umar US, Ogunnowo BE
A cross-sectional study was carried out in a rural hospital in south-western Nigeria to determine the prevalence of low back pain among its staff. The questionnaire administered to staff sought information on social and demographic characteristics, job history, smoking status, frequency and severity of low back pain and factors predisposing to low back pain. Seventy-four out of a total of 80 workers participated in the study. The prevalence of low back pain among staff was 46%. The highest prevalence of back pain (69%) was recorded among nursing staff, followed by secretaries/administrative staff (55%) and cleaners/aides (47%). Heavy physical work (45%), poor posture (20%) and prolonged standing or sitting (20%) were the most frequent activities reported to be associated with low back pain among these workers. The prevalence of low back pain among these workers is comparable to that of workers in high income countries. Health education on posture and correct lifting techniques can be introduced to reduce the burden of low back pain among these workers.