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December/January 2014/2015 (vol. 11/4)

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Research Plus

Whole-body vibration

There is an increased risk of both low back pain (LBP) and sciatica from occupational exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV), according to this systematic review of 27 studies (11 of high quality) and meta-analysis (of 20 studies). Exposure to WBV doubled the risk of LBP compared to those with no exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 2.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6–2.9) and sciatica (OR = 1.9; CI 1.4–2.7). Risk of LBP was increased by 50% when comparing ‘high’ as against ‘low’ exposure to WBV (OR = 1.5; CI 1.3–1.7), with similar results for sciatica (OR = 1.5; CI 1.2–1.8), indicating a possible dose–response relationship. 

  1. Whole-body vibration and the risk of low back pain and sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2014; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-014-0971-4. 

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2014/2015 (vol. 11/4) pp39