It is a general presumption that most workers in blue collar occupations are susceptible to spinal problems of postural nature including neck pain, the prevalence of which relatively less attention has been paid by researchers compared to other work related musculoskeletal disorder such as back pain. This study was aimed to investigate the prevalence of neck pain among heavy truck drivers in Maiduguri, North-Eastern Nigeria. One hundred and fifty participants (N=150) completed part 1 of the 19-item researcher administered questionnaires which elicited socio-demographic responses about history and prevalence of neck pain, factors that predisposes the drivers to neck pain and their driving routine and performance information. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of mean, frequency and percentages, while Spearman Correlation Coefficient (rho) was used to explore the relationship between age, educational status, years of driving experience and hours spent on driving, and neck pain. Prevalence of neck pain was 67.3% among the drivers, and this condition is associated with age and years of driving experience, and was more frequent among drivers that do not have any formal education when compared with those with primary, secondary or higher education (87.5% vs 54.1-74.6). These truck drivers also indicated that long distance driving and hours spent on driving are predisposing factors to neck pain. This study shows that there is high prevalence of neck pain among heavy truck drivers in Maiduguri North-eastern Nigeria. The risk of having neck pain increases with age, many hours spent on driving, years of driving experience and less education. Therefore, this study identified the need for ergonomic education and intervention to prevent, minimize, and manage neck pain among this occupational group.
Key words: Truck driver, neck pain, haulage industry.
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