Back pain and heavy physical work: a comparative study of concrete reinforcement workers and maintenance house painters

Br J Ind Med. 1985 Apr;42(4):226-32.


In an investigation of the effect of heavy physical work on the back 217 concrete reinforcement workers aged 25-54 and a reference group of 202 house painters of similar age were interviewed about their back symptoms. Data on occupational history, accidents, and leisure time activities were collected with a questionnaire. The cumulative incidence rate of sciatic pain was significantly higher among the reinforcement workers than the painters. As regards the occurrence of lumbago and non-specific back pain, however, the groups were alike. In both occupational groups sciatic pain during the previous 12 months was associated with earlier back accidents (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence interval 1.8-4.5). The accident rate of the reinforcement workers was higher than that of the painters, and this difference seemed to explain their higher rate of sciatic pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational
  • Adult
  • Back Injuries
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Sciatica / etiology