Isometric lifting strength as a predictor of industrial back pain reports

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Aug;14(8):851-6. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198908000-00014.


The objective of our investigation was to study isometric lifting strength in a population of industrial workers who perform a great variety of manual tasks, and to determine whether isometric strength is predictive of future back problems in such a population. Of 3,020 study subjects, 2,178 (72%) underwent strength testing in three standard lifting positions. During a 4-year follow-up period, 172 subjects tested reported back problems. When examining each isometric lift separately as a predictor of industrial back pain reports, those with greater isometric strength were at significantly greater risk than were weaker workers. However, after controlling for the effects of age, only a slight trend remained. For the blue collar workers in this study, isometric lifting strength testing was ineffective in identifying individuals at risk for industrial back problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Isometric Contraction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors