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OBJECTIVE: To find out the number of work-related thumb pain and its associated risk factors and their preferences to treat among manual physiotherapists.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study used a modified self-administered questionnaire among manual physiotherapists in the government and private hospitals of Lahore, Pakistan. Sixty physiotherapists were recruited using simple consecutive sampling. Data was analyzed through SPPS v.21.0.
RESULTS: Out of 60 physiotherapists, 35 (58.3%) were males. Majority (n=43; 71.6%) had age <30 years. Thirty-seven (61.7%) participants had work experience of 1-5 years and 16.7% (n=10/60) worked for >45 hours per week. Out of 33 (55%) physiotherapists with work-related painful thumbs, 75.8% (n=25/33) had work experience of 1-5 years and 24.24% (n=8/33) worked for >45 hours per week. About 55% (n=33/60) of all physiotherapists and 52% (n=17/33) of those with painful thumbs had no preventive information. Hand-position B was common in all physiotherapists (n=36/60; 60%) and in those with painful thumbs (n=21/33: 64%). Almost 97% (n=32/33) of physiotherapists with painful thumbs were right-handed. Interphalangeal joint was the most affected joint (n=10/33; 30.3%) and affected thumb was dominant in nature in 84.8% (n=28/33) cases. Trigger point therapy (n=7; 11.7%) was a major cause to provoke symptoms. Stabilization exercise was found to be most satisfying treatment (n=6/9; 66.67%).
CONCLUSION: A high percentage of work-related thumb pain was recorded among the manual physiotherapists of Lahore. Most of them suffer from work-related pain due to the execution of manual therapy techniques, while stabilization exercise is the most satisfied therapy for thumb pain among them.
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