February 16, 2018 6:01 pm

Nearly half of Ontario firefighters are working with chronic pain, study finds

Over a 13-month period, firefighters tracked the location and severity of any musculoskeletal problems they may have had.

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A new study co-authored by Western University and the McMaster School of Rehabilitation Science reveals that chronic pain is almost guaranteed for firefighters.

Nearly 300 firefighters from Hamilton were examined over a 13-month period.

During that time, the firefighters tracked the location and severity of any musculoskeletal problems they may have had.

Data revealed that almost half of the firefighters had problems with their arms or legs, about one in five had neck-related problems, and one in three had back pain.

READ MORE: Work long hours on the job? You’re more likely to have heart problems, study says

Joy MacDermid, a physical therapy professor at Western University, tells 980 CFPL, the research focus will shift towards prevention and treatment.

“We’re focusing on how tasks are done… to see if there are ways we could make those tasks a little bit safer,” said MacDermid.

The study adds that screening for upper-limb musculoskeletal disabilities might also help with early intervention and treatment.

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