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Isometric Lifting Strength As a Predictor of Industrial Back Pain Reports

BATTI'E, MICHELE C., PT, PhD*; BIGOS, STANLEY J., MD*; FISHER, LLOYD D., PhD; HANSSON, TOMMY H., MD, PhD; JONES, MARJORIE E., BS; WORTLEY, MARK D., PT*

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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 sub]ects, 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.

*From the Department of Orthopaedics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

†From the Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

‡From the Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgren Hospital, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.