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The Effect of Head Loading on Cervical Spine in Manual Laborers

Asian Spine Journal 2021년 15권 1호 p.17 ~ 22
Dave Bharat R., Krishnan Ajay, Rai Ravi Ranjan, Degulmadi Devanand, Mayi Shivanand,
소속 상세정보
 ( Dave Bharat R. ) - Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute Department of Spine Surgery
 ( Krishnan Ajay ) - Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute Department of Spine Surgery
 ( Rai Ravi Ranjan ) - Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute Department of Spine Surgery
 ( Degulmadi Devanand ) - Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute Department of Spine Surgery
 ( Mayi Shivanand ) - Stavya Spine Hospital and Research Institute Department of Spine Surgery

Abstract


Study Design: A prospective case?control study.

Purpose: To determine the effect of axial loading on the cervical spine when weights are carried on the head.

Overview of Literature: Traditionally, carrying weights on the head has been a common practice in developing countries. The laborers working in agriculture, construction, and other industries, as well as porters at railway platforms, are required to lift heavy weights. Since controversy exists regarding carrying weights on the head, we decided to evaluate its effect on the cervical spine.

Methods: The study comprised 62 subjects. Of this number, 32 subjects (group A) were unskilled laborers from the construction industry; the other 30 subjects (group B) were in the control group and had never previously carried heavy weights on their heads. Cervical spine radiographs were taken for all the 62 subjects. Subjects in group A were asked to carry a load (approximately 35 kg) on their heads and walk for about 65 m, with their cervical spine radiographs taken afterward.

Results: The mean ages of patients in groups A and B were 27.17 and 25.75 years, respectively. The mean cervical lordosis observed in group A (18.96°) was dramatically less compared with group B (25.40°), showing a further decrease in head loading (3.35°). Five subjects had a reversal of lordosis (?5.61°). A statistically significant reduction in disc height and listhesis was observed when the load was carried on the head with a further decrease after walking with the load. Accelerated degenerative changes, particularly affecting the upper cervical spine, were observed in head loaders.

Conclusions: Carrying a load on the head leads to accelerated degenerative changes, which involve the upper cervical spine more than the lower cervical spine and predisposes it to injury at a lower threshold. Thus, alternative methods of carrying loads should be proposed.

키워드

Neck pain; Spondylosis; Spine; Carrying; Occupational diseases

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