Uwe Reischl, a professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, presented a research paper at the 31st international conference of the Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety held June 12-13 in New Orleans.
The presentation, titled “Spine Compression Recovery as a Diagnostic for Chronic Back Pain,” summarized the results of a case-control study using stature compression and recovery measurements of 18 healthcare workers to differentiate those with chronic lower back pain from the asymptomatic employees. Stature measurements at the start and at the end of an eight-hour work shift, followed by a short recovery period, generated stature reference values unique to each employee.
Asymptomatic employees exhibited stature recoveries greater than 120 percent while employees experiencing chronic back pain exhibited stature recoveries less than 60 percent. Using these criteria provided a new approach for identifying employees who experience chronic back pain at work.
Reischl has been invited to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety in Morgantown, W. Virginia, to present these findings. The conference paper was co-authored with professor Ravindra Goonetilleke of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong.