Musculoskeletal complaints among physiotherapy and occupational therapy rehabilitation professionals in Bangladesh

Work. 2015;50(3):379-86. doi: 10.3233/WOR-151994.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / epidemiology*
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty*
  • Prevalence
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult