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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 678-682

Back pain in ophthalmology: National survey of Indian ophthalmologists

Department of Retina and Vitreous, Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, Daryaganj, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramesh Venkatesh
Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, 5027, Kedarnath Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_344_17

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Purpose: The aim is to assess the prevalence, severity, and associations of back pain among Indian ophthalmologists. Methods: A self-reporting questionnaire was sent to ophthalmologists with valid e-mail addresses registered with the All India Ophthalmological Society. The survey was open for responses for 2 months. Results: A total of 651 (5.96%) responses were obtained; 394 (61%) males and 257 (39%) females. Half (50%) of responses were obtained from doctors belonging to 31–40 years' age group. Two hundred and thirty (35%) of the ophthalmologists had height ranging from 161 to 170 cm and 443 (68%) had weight ranging from 51 to 75 kg. Four hundred and eighty-one (73.8%) of the respondents had <15 years of ophthalmic experience. Cataract (346; 53.1%) and general ophthalmology (342; 52.5%) were commonly practised by the ophthalmologists. Time spent in the outpatient department (OPD) was 39.37 ± 16.32 h/week and in the operating theater 13.64 ± 9.89 h/week, respectively. Self-reported prevalence of back pain was 70.5%. Fully 49% of respondents had low back pain, followed by neck pain (33%) and upper extremity symptoms (16%). Age <50 years (odds ratio [OR] = 2.4485), female gender (OR = 2.0265), long working hours in OPD (OR = 1.6524), and performing retinal lasers and indirect ophthalmoscopy (OR = 3.3251) showed positive association with back pain. The intolerable back pain was noted in <7% of the respondents. Around 398 (61%) respondents felt that their back pain was exacerbated while doing work and 86.6% felt that up to 5 h/week was lost due to persistent backache. Yoga and some form of exercise (74.3%) was practised to alleviate back pain. Conclusion: Back pain symptoms appear to be common among ophthalmologists. Awkward posture and prolonged working hours are responsible for developing back pain among ophthalmologists. Performing yoga and regular exercises, modifications in instrumentation and creating a larger workforce of eye care practitioners are needed to prevent ophthalmologists from developing back pain.

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