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Musculoskeletal disorders in physically active conscripts: a one-year follow-up study in the Finnish Defence Forces.

Taanila H, Suni J, Pihlajamäki H, Mattila VM, Ohrankämmen O, Vuorinen P, Parkkari J - BMC Musculoskelet Disord (2009)

Bottom Line: Fractures, knee ligament ruptures, dislocations and muscle strains accounted for the highest number of service days lost.Twenty-four (2.5%) out of 955 conscripts were prematurely discharged due to MSDs.Preventive measures during military service should be targeted at decreasing low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries, because these inflict the largest burden of MSDs and tend to have a chronic nature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine, The UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland. henri.taanila@uta.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important cause for morbidity in military service. They result in disabilities needing long-term rehabilitation and functional impairment leading to premature discharge from military service. The purpose of the study was to investigate the incidence and nature of MSDs in Finnish conscripts.

Methods: Two successive arrivals of 18-28-yr-old male conscripts (N = 955, median age 19) were followed for six months. MSDs, including overuse and acute injuries, treated at the garrison clinic were identified and analysed.

Results: During the 12-month study period there were 437 outpatient clinic visits in 955 persons. The occurrence rate was 33% during 6-month service while the event-based incidence was 3.3 per 1000 person-days. Occurrence peaked in summer months. The most common types of MSDs were low back pain (LBP, 20%), lower limb overuse injuries (16%) and sprains or strains (13%). Disorders mostly occurred in combat training in combat gear (40%) and during marching on foot or bicycle (28%). Overuse-related MSDs were more prevalent (66%) than traumatic ones (34%). One-third (34%) of the MSDs were recurrent and 66% were new ones. Disorders of the back and the knee were most frequently recurrent conditions (44% for both). Fractures, knee ligament ruptures, dislocations and muscle strains accounted for the highest number of service days lost. Twenty-four (2.5%) out of 955 conscripts were prematurely discharged due to MSDs.

Conclusion: Preventive measures during military service should be targeted at decreasing low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries, because these inflict the largest burden of MSDs and tend to have a chronic nature.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Distribution of musculoskeletal disorders by associated activities in 955 male conscripts during 6-month military service. * The term "not during actual military service" includes disorders during vacations, during travel to vacation or back to garrison or during off-duty time in the evenings. Count next to the bar is the absolute number.
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Figure 1: Distribution of musculoskeletal disorders by associated activities in 955 male conscripts during 6-month military service. * The term "not during actual military service" includes disorders during vacations, during travel to vacation or back to garrison or during off-duty time in the evenings. Count next to the bar is the absolute number.

Mentions: Disorders which had occurred during the conscript's leisure time or on the way to vacation or back to garrison were included, but those occurring prior to the beginning of the military service were excluded from the data. The aetiological circumstances of the onset of MSDs during actual military service were charted more thoroughly by use of an additional question (Fig. 1). After careful clinical examination and necessary diagnostic tests and radiological graphs the most accurate diagnosis was selected by a physician according to the 10th Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). The severity of MSD was categorised according to the number of days it prevented physical exercise: 1–7 days denoting minor, 8–30 days moderate and > 30 days severe disorder [19]. Premature release from military service was indicated when a physician determined a conscript unable to continue military training. There were three discharge categories: A) temporary medical discharge from military service; B) permanent medical discharge from service in peacetime; and C) applying for non-military service (Table 2).


Musculoskeletal disorders in physically active conscripts: a one-year follow-up study in the Finnish Defence Forces.

Taanila H, Suni J, Pihlajamäki H, Mattila VM, Ohrankämmen O, Vuorinen P, Parkkari J - BMC Musculoskelet Disord (2009)

Distribution of musculoskeletal disorders by associated activities in 955 male conscripts during 6-month military service. * The term "not during actual military service" includes disorders during vacations, during travel to vacation or back to garrison or during off-duty time in the evenings. Count next to the bar is the absolute number.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2724399&req=5

Figure 1: Distribution of musculoskeletal disorders by associated activities in 955 male conscripts during 6-month military service. * The term "not during actual military service" includes disorders during vacations, during travel to vacation or back to garrison or during off-duty time in the evenings. Count next to the bar is the absolute number.
Mentions: Disorders which had occurred during the conscript's leisure time or on the way to vacation or back to garrison were included, but those occurring prior to the beginning of the military service were excluded from the data. The aetiological circumstances of the onset of MSDs during actual military service were charted more thoroughly by use of an additional question (Fig. 1). After careful clinical examination and necessary diagnostic tests and radiological graphs the most accurate diagnosis was selected by a physician according to the 10th Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). The severity of MSD was categorised according to the number of days it prevented physical exercise: 1–7 days denoting minor, 8–30 days moderate and > 30 days severe disorder [19]. Premature release from military service was indicated when a physician determined a conscript unable to continue military training. There were three discharge categories: A) temporary medical discharge from military service; B) permanent medical discharge from service in peacetime; and C) applying for non-military service (Table 2).

Bottom Line: Fractures, knee ligament ruptures, dislocations and muscle strains accounted for the highest number of service days lost.Twenty-four (2.5%) out of 955 conscripts were prematurely discharged due to MSDs.Preventive measures during military service should be targeted at decreasing low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries, because these inflict the largest burden of MSDs and tend to have a chronic nature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine, The UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland. henri.taanila@uta.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important cause for morbidity in military service. They result in disabilities needing long-term rehabilitation and functional impairment leading to premature discharge from military service. The purpose of the study was to investigate the incidence and nature of MSDs in Finnish conscripts.

Methods: Two successive arrivals of 18-28-yr-old male conscripts (N = 955, median age 19) were followed for six months. MSDs, including overuse and acute injuries, treated at the garrison clinic were identified and analysed.

Results: During the 12-month study period there were 437 outpatient clinic visits in 955 persons. The occurrence rate was 33% during 6-month service while the event-based incidence was 3.3 per 1000 person-days. Occurrence peaked in summer months. The most common types of MSDs were low back pain (LBP, 20%), lower limb overuse injuries (16%) and sprains or strains (13%). Disorders mostly occurred in combat training in combat gear (40%) and during marching on foot or bicycle (28%). Overuse-related MSDs were more prevalent (66%) than traumatic ones (34%). One-third (34%) of the MSDs were recurrent and 66% were new ones. Disorders of the back and the knee were most frequently recurrent conditions (44% for both). Fractures, knee ligament ruptures, dislocations and muscle strains accounted for the highest number of service days lost. Twenty-four (2.5%) out of 955 conscripts were prematurely discharged due to MSDs.

Conclusion: Preventive measures during military service should be targeted at decreasing low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries, because these inflict the largest burden of MSDs and tend to have a chronic nature.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus