Some jobs may be a pain in the knee, or hip

May 27, 2010

Several occupational tasks are associated with symptomatic lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA). A variety of physically demanding tasks are associated with increased odds for knee OA andhip OA, and there is a particularly strong association with lifting tasks.

Several occupational tasks are associated with symptomatic lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA). A variety of physically demanding tasks are associated with increased odds for knee OA and hip OA, and there is a particularly strong association with lifting tasks.

Allen and coworkers analyzed data from the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, a study of 2729 persons. The group reported the frequency with which they performed 10 tasks at their job of the longest duration and lifetime exposure to jobs that caused them to spend more than half their time doing 5 specific tasks or lifting 110 lb 10 times a week.

There was no association between occupational tasks and radiographic OA. However, lifting 10 lb or more per week, crawling, and doing heavy work while standing caused more symptomatic hip and knee OA. The more a person walked or stood on the job, the more painful his or her hips and knees became. Bending, twisting, and reaching increased the chances of symptomatic hip OA. Lifetime exposure to sitting was significantly linked with radiographic knee OA but not hip OA.

The authors noted that efforts are needed to identify methods for reducing the risk of knee and hip OA with occupational joint loading.

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