Prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in caregivers handling non-ambulatory spinal cord injury patients

Pranjali Kulkarni, Manish Ray, Ashok Shyam, Parag Sancheti


Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a distressing disorder that can cause of loss of physical, psychological and social functioning, that can cause high level of disability in patients. Due to disability, they are dependent on caregivers for their daily activities. Caregivers of SCI can be family or professional caregivers. Due to lack of training and awkward posture, caring for SCI patients may be burdensome which results in musculoskeletal problems in caregivers so it is important to find out the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems. The objectives were to find out the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in caregivers handling non-ambulatory SCI patients and most common site of injury.

Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on 80 caregivers including both professional and family caregivers. Self-structured validated questionnaire used to interview the caregivers based on convenient sampling. The data was analysed by descriptive statistics.

Results: The prevalence of musculoskeletal problems is 95% in caregivers including both family and professional caregivers. Low back pain was the commonest site of symptoms (53%) followed by 15% neck, 12% upper back pain, right shoulder (10%), right wrist (5%) and no pain (5%).

Conclusions: The prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in caregivers handling non ambulatory SCI is high. Most affected area is low back pain and neck pain. The findings of the study indicated that proper training and exercise are required, on means of preventing musculoskeletal problems.



Spinal cord injury, Musculoskeletal problems, Caregivers, Prevalence

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