Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Spinal Rotation Range of Motion (ROM) With Isometric Contractions and Back Injuries in Health Care Workers: A Correlational Study
Author Affiliations
  • Toledo, Ohio
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Health and Wellness / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Neurologic Conditions / Work and Industry / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Spinal Rotation Range of Motion (ROM) With Isometric Contractions and Back Injuries in Health Care Workers: A Correlational Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505025.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505025.

Date Presented 4/16/2015

Back injury in health care workers is common. Little evidence suggests a biomarker for this type of injury. In this study, we look for correlations between trunk performance and back injury in employees at a Midwestern teaching hospital using the Turning Point 4.0 Rotational Spine SystemTM.

In this study, we aim to fill in part of the gap in knowledge surrounding musculoskeletal injuries and safe patient handling. Results can be used to screen employees and to take steps to prevent back injuries throughout their career.
INNOVATION: There is currently little evidence that can suggest a biomarker for back injury in health care workers. In this study, we look for any correlation between trunk performance and back injury.
HYPOTHESIS: Our hypothesis is that there will be a relationship in the trunk/back performance (range of motion [ROM] and torque generation) and the predisposition for developing back injury.
BACKGROUND: There is a great need in the health care field to reduce musculoskeletal injury. In 2012, these injuries made up 42% of cases, with a rate of 55 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. Although there are many possible causes for an injury of this type, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed overexertion and bodily reaction as the leading event with 40% of injuries in 2012. One effect of injury is the cost of time away from work. It is estimated that back pain in workers aged 40 to 65 yr costs health care employers $20 billion annually.
METHOD: A longitudinal cohort study design was used. The study occurred at a moderately sized Midwestern Level I trauma hospital. Participants had no current or chronic musculoskeletal or neurological injury that would interfere with participation in performing back exercises. Participants were employed in some capacity at the university. Individuals who were outside of the range of 62 to 78 in., who weighed more than 280 lb, or who were pregnant were excluded because of the size limits of the exercise device. The Turning Point 4.0 Rotational Spine System™ is designed to evaluate, train, and rehabilitate the core muscles while standing upright (slight hip flexion is possible). The resistance to rotation can be set and controlled, and performance data can be digitally recorded.
Logistical regression will be used to regress the binary injury data with the continuous ROM and the peak torque data to determine the relationship and the predictive nature of the back performance upon back injury data. Performance data will be collected using the Turning Point machine, and the injury data will be obtained through the injury logs at the sponsoring university hospital. Categorical themes will be based on the employee position, date of injury, location of injury, description of occurrence, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incident rate, workers’ compensation claimed, and whether the incident was patient-related.
RESULTS: Preliminary results included an n = 6 (5 women and 1 man) aged 23 to 51 yr. The median ROM for the shoulders was 91. 53° to the left and 84.77° to the right. Hip measurements averaged 55.2° to the left and 53.33° to the right. The mean torque generated by isometric muscle contractions for the shoulders was 42.3 ft·lb , and for the hips, it was 27.1 ft·lb. It is anticipated that the 6-mo regression analysis will be presented at the Nashville conference.
CONCLUSION: We anticipate that the conclusions will show a correlation between ROM/isometric contractions and the likelihood of an injury occurring within a 6-mo time frame.