The Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Shoulder Injuries in Primary School Teachers, Durban, South Africa

  •  Zingisa Z Nyawose    
  •  Rowena Naidoo    


BACKGROUND: Shoulder injuries are among the most common musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) that can present in teachers, due to the nature of the teaching profession.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of shoulder MSD in primary school teachers, Durban, South Africa.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 203 school teachers. A questionnaire to determine the prevalence of shoulder injuries and other common injuries experienced was completed. Descriptive statistics and chi-square and binomial tests were used to analyse the results.

RESULTS: The prevalence of shoulder injuries among school teachers was 53.7%, which was significantly higher than neck injuries (p=.037). Participants who had had a previous injury to the shoulder were more likely to have experienced shoulder problems at work (p = .006). A significant 76.1% had not injured their shoulder in any way (p <.0005). Additionally, the shoulder problems prevented a significant 77% of the participants from performing their normal work for up to seven days during the previous 12 months (p<.0005).

CONCLUSION: Preventative and management strategies for shoulder injuries among school teachers are needed.

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