Al-Harthi A.1,2, Al-Sobayel H.1, Al-Eisa E.1
1King Saud University, Department of Health Rehabilitation Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Physical Therapy Department, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: Neck pain was one of the leading global causes of disability in most of the countries worldwide. It is prevalent among healthcare workers with different specialties. Several local studies showed high prevalence rate among dental professionals as well as Saudi eye care professionals in Saudi Arabia. Many factors can contribute to neck pain and various manifestations may be present including breathing dysfunction.

Purpose: To explore the relationship between chronic neck pain and dysfunctional breathing symptoms among healthcare workers.

Methods: A Cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of 31 healthcare workers with chronic neck pain was conducted in one of the central hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The participants completed the Neck Disability Index (NDI), Nijmegen Questionnaire (NQ) and Self-Evaluation of Breathing Questionnaire (SEBQ) as an outcome measures for neck pain and disability and dysfunctional breathing symptoms respectively.

Results: The majority of the participants were females (87%) with a mean age of 33.8 ± 6.4 years. 42% were nurses, 29% physiotherapists while the remaining participants were dental assistants, physicians and office workers. The results showed a moderate to good positive correlation between NDI (18.84±10.97) and NQ (16.61±9.32) (r = 0.65, n= 31, p 0.01). Fair positive relationship was also shown with SEBQ (10.71±9.35, rs= 0.49, n=31, p 0.01). The two breathing questionnaires (NQ, SEBQ) showed moderate to good positive relationship (rs= 0.62, n=31, p 0.01).

Conclusion(s): Healthcare workers who complained from chronic neck pain may exhibit dysfunctional breathing symptoms that would suggest screening breathing aspects when treating their chronic neck pain.

Implications: It is important to bear in mind among physiotherapists to screen breathing dysfunction symptoms when treating their chronic neck pain clients if present, and provide subsequent assessment and treatment if needed. Moreover, incorporate breathing awareness/retraining as part of occupational safety and work-related injury prevention schemes would be beneficial.

Funding acknowledgements: None.

Topic: Musculoskeletal: spine

Ethics approval: Approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Prince Sultan Military Medical City (PSMMC) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

All authors, affiliations and abstracts have been published as submitted.

Back to the listing