Is Your Therapy Job a Literal Pain?

Physical Therapists, who typically help those struggling with pain, seem to be experiencing it themselves, and their jobs may be to blame.

A recent study has found a relationship between Physical Therapists who experience musculoskeletal pain and their career, namely those with larger patient loads, more hours worked per week, and performing more manual therapy interventions.

The study, which polled Physical Therapists in Spain, revealed that 49.4% of respondents reported moderate-to-significant levels of low back pain in the last 30 days, and nearly 60% had also experienced neck pain in the same timeframe. Upper back pain was the third most commonly reported issue, with 36.1% of respondents indicating they had recently experienced it.

The data revealed a correlation between low back pain and treating more than one patient at a time, working more than 45 hours per week, and working in a seated position. However, the study also found that Physical Therapists with more experience, namely more than six years of experience, were less likely to experience shoulder, low back, and elbow/forearm pain, and that those with 15+ years of experience were found to have lower odds of pain in those areas, as well as lower instances of neck pain.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.