Background: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals are at high risk of developing occupational musculoskeletal injuries globally. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common problem.
Objective: To determine the extent of discomfort that physiotherapy and occupational therapy health professionals report while working at a physical rehabilitation centre.
Participants: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals which include both graduate and diploma physiotherapists and occupational therapists as well as physiotherapy and occupational therapy assistants.
Methods: A self administered questionnaire (survey) was conducted on a convenient sample of 101 physiotherapy and occupational therapy personnel.
Results: The mean age of the 101 participants was 27.8 (± 4.5) years and most of the participants (62%) had less than 5 years of work experience. Ninety-five percent of the participants complained of work related pain. Most of the participants reported pain in the lower back (n=84) followed by upper back (n=71) and neck (n=66). Significant associations were found for pain in ankles/feet with age (p=0.05) and pain in neck with gender (p=0.01).
Conclusion: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals suffer from pain in relation to the work they do as therapists which may be due to non-practice of appropriate body mechanics. Mechanism to assess level of practice during dealing with patients may be introduced to enable corrective measures. Incentives should be considered for appropriate practice.
Keywords: Musculoskeletal discomfort survey; occupational injury; therapist; visual analogue scale.