Musculoskeletal disorders, such as low back pain, are a common and costly problem in today’s workforce. Employees who work in a rural hospital’s electrophysiology (EP) or catheterization lab (Cath lab) appear to be especially susceptible to injury. This increase in risk has been attributed to a shortage of physicians, less community-based resources available to hospital staff, and the forward-flexed postures EP/Cath lab professionals maintain for extended periods of time while working in the operating room. Traditionally, exercise and physical activity routines, health education, and continued management support have been promoted as low cost/low risk interventions to address low back pain. However, the extent to which hospital policy and culture enable these prevention strategies to be implemented is unknown. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of low back pain in rural EP/Cath laboratories and the significance of exercise and physical activity routines, health education, and continued management support as low back pain prevention strategies in the rural EP/Cath lab community.
Part of the book: Rural Health