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Podiatrists with neck and back pain

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by leahn, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. leahn

    leahn Welcome New Poster

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    I am a 4th year Occupational Therapy student and am in the process of completing my major written investigation for the year.
    The title of my investigation is ‘work place safety in podiatry’. My outcome is to design a booklet that educates podiatrist of how to prevent neck and back pain, by focusing on ergonomics and work environment layout.
    I am currently in need of literature to support my claim that podiatrist experience work related neck and lower back pain. If anyone has any journal articles or can point me in a direction that will lead me to information, it would be much appreciated.
    Thank you Leah
  2. LCG

    LCG Active Member

    Title: The perceived causes of hand pain in podiatrists.
    Personal Author: Halford V; Birch I
    Source: Australas J Podiatric Med, 2005; 39 (3): 57-63
    as a start
  3. a allen

    a allen Welcome New Poster

    if you go to the FeetforLife site you might get some info from the industrial relations people there. I think there was some work done on RSI some time ago.
    Good luck! (and don't forget to publish in Podiatry journals when you have finished!)

  4. victoriah

    victoriah Active Member


    I am the author of the article mentioned above. I am the Lead Ergonomist for UK, Europe and Asia for Error Analysis inc., based in California.

    We are presently undertaking quite a big study into macroergonomic factors in podiatry, leading on from my earlier work on hand and upper limb pain in the profession. There is very little out there about MSDs or occupational health in podiatry, and pretty much all the studies can be found referenced in my article. It was published last summer in the British Journal of Podiatry 8(3): 102-107, and republished in the Fall edition of The Australasian Journal of Podiatric Medicine 39(3): 57-63.

    I also have a big article on hand and upper limb pain amongst podiatrists in press in Ergonomics in Design.

    Any questions...do ask away!

    Victoria Halford
  5. One Foot In The Grave

    One Foot In The Grave Active Member

    What is the actual incidence of back or neck pain in Podiatrists?

    Did a quick poll around the office - 4:5 in my current workplace...
  6. victoriah

    victoriah Active Member

    HSE and/or Trusts tend to not keep figures...so who knows?

    Informal, anecdotal evidence suggests it's quite a high percentage. In fact, a lot of folk leave the profession because of hand pain...or just make the sideways move into teaching to cut down on their risk exposure.
  7. leahn

    leahn Welcome New Poster

    podiatrists back and neck pain

    Thanks everyone for your input. I know a few podiatrists myself and many of them suffer from neck, back and hand pain and I am very surprised on the limited amount of information and research out there. I have been struggling over the past couple of weeks with this assignment, wondering if it really is an area of concern, as I have not found any literature to back up my claims. So thanks for all your replies and for getting me back on the right track. I'll be in contact again soon.
    Thank you
  8. John Spina

    John Spina Active Member

    I have a pinched nerve in my left shoulder-on and off-for 10 years.It is probably related to the way I bend over to take care of patients.
  9. ashfordpod

    ashfordpod Member

    I am a chronic sufferer of LBP and sciatica. The original cause is not related to my work.
    A patient of mine is a specialist in workplace seating ergonomics and he is convinced that my seating position is responsible for frequent excacerbations and he proposes to do a survey on me.

    I will keep the board informed.
  10. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    Perhaps a good question to ask might be what do podiatrist do to avoid back injury.

    When I was training I suffered terrible back pain when using the practitioner chairs and each weekend would find me at my favourite physiotherapist. I thought I would not be able to continue in Chiropody practice. Fortunately quite by chance I found that using a low stool with no back was the answer and I never have any back problems now.

    The reason for this is that the low stool, which is set so that my knees are flexed at less than 90dgs, ie my knee is higher than my hip, enables and compels me to rest my elbows on my knees and therefore flexing moments about the lumbar spine are resisted by my arms and not the lumbar muscles.This also tends to prevent kyphosis (slouching) in the upper spine.

    I found this out because in my first practise I took over an opticians clinic and used his patient chair and stool. I changed the patient chair to a podiatry type but kept the old stool.

    BTW My first patients could not see how removing a corn would improve their myopia. I took them outside and asked them if they thought they were still short sighted, "of course" would be the response. "Look up in the sky" I then said, "what do you see". "The sun" they replied". "That's 93 million miles, how far do you want to see then"

    Larf! :D :D Cheers Dave Smith
  11. ShaunBergin

    ShaunBergin Member

    Hi Victoria,

    Since you last contributed to this discussion, have you completed any research on the cause and management of chronic low back pain in the podiatry setting?

    Are there any good resources on this topic?


  12. Deborah Ferguson

    Deborah Ferguson Active Member

    Hi Leah

    The Health and Safety executive have published material -

    Musculoskeletal Disorders in Podiatry and Chiropody Professionals. Reducing the risk. Christine Leah & Matthew Birdles. 2008. HSE.

    Hope this is useful. I have chronic mid-thoracic pain and see a chiropractor colleague on a regular basis. He says my back is " like an ironing board".


  13. Pompy

    Pompy Member

    Tried the link but this page came up....

    404 Error
    The page you requested does not exist...

    I am extremely interested in this study - I have tried numerous practitioner stools in my practice and continue to suffer chronic upper back/shoulder/neck pain.
  14. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  15. Deborah Ferguson

    Deborah Ferguson Active Member

    Sorry - writing out reference in a hurry

    Thank you Craig

  16. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Press release:
    Neck pain can be changed through altered visual feedback
  17. Steve August

    Steve August Welcome New Poster

    Hi. I'm a New Zealand physiotherapist working with upper back and neck pain from bending over. The big societal driver of this is hunching over laptops, tablets and smartphones - the iHunch. However exactly the same forces, problems and solutions apply to a career involving bending over feet.

    We've set up a website with explanations and a home treatment and ongoing care programme for the upper spine and neck. The website is www.bodystance.co.nz - or just Google 'Backpod.' The Backpod itself is a high tech fulcrum which uses upper body weight to provide enough leverage to stretch tightened collagen holding a tightened, hunched upper thoracic spine in its excessive kyphosis.

    I'd say the whole dedicated anti-hunching package would be an ideal fit to podiatrists - as it has been for nurses, surgeons, dentists, hairdressers and other hunching subgroups. Let me know if you'd like an article for Podiatry Arena on this: email is bodystance@gmail.com

    Cheers, Steve August (B.A.,Dip.Physio.).

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