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This study on the prevalence of low back pain among practicing radiographers in government hospitals, was done in Enugu and Ebonyi States. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence low back pain among the practicing radiographers, the risk factors that could be causal to low back pain among the radiographers and to compare low back pain among radiographers in Enugu and Ebonyi states. Some research has been done to investigate this prevalence among radiographers internationally, though; a lot of works have been done on the nursing personnel.               This cross-sectional study used questionnaire developed by the researcher to obtain the necessary information on the working hours, the tasks performed by the radiographers, working years, job satisfaction and stress, possible causes and prevalence of low back pain among the practicing radiographers in government hospitals in Enugu and Ebonyi States. A total of 62 questionnaires were distributed, but 55 questionnaires were collected and were used for the study. Associations between personal factors, the tasks performed and the prevalence  and severity of low back  pain were explored through statistical analysis.                                       The study showed that much number of the practicing radiographers had suffered and are presently suffering from low back pain as at the time the research was done. The study also showed that a lot of factors were discovered to be causal to low back pain among the practicing radiographers. They are job (tasks performed by the radiographers), pregnancy, stress and posture. It showed that radiographers within the age range (31-40 years) reported of suffering from and as well had low back pain. The length of time spent, that is the working hours in the department contributed to low back pain among the practicing radiographers. Gender played a role in this study; more male radiographers suffered low back pain than their female counterparts.

New technologies will help prevent radiographers from unnecessary bending and twisting during procedures. Evidence- based strategies will help radiographers in carrying out procedures in this 21st century. Personal health consciousness will guide the radiographers who work from one hospital to the other.


Title page    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        i

Approval page               –        –        –        –        –        –        –        ii

Certification         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iii

Dedication –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iv

Acknowledgement                   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        v

Abstract      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        vi

Table of Content  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        viii

List of table                    –        –        –        –        –        –        –                  x


1.1     Introduction                   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        1

1.2     Statement of Problem              –        –        –        –        –        –        3

1.3     Objective of the Study   –        –        –        –        –        –        3

1.4     Significance of Study     –        –        –        –        –        –        3

1.5     Scope of Study     –        –        –        –        –        –        –        4


2.0     Literature Review –        –        –        –        –        –        –        5



3.1     Research Design   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        23

3.2     Population of the Study –        –        –        –        –        –        23

3.2.1  Sample Size Determination and Distribution       –                  –        23

3.2.2  Sampling Technique     –        –        –        –        –        –        23

3.3 Instrument and Method of Data Collection    –        –        –        23

3.4     Method of Data Analysis        –        –        –        –        –        –        26


Data Presentation Analysis     –        –        –        –        –        –        27`


5.1     Discussion of Findings –        –        –        –        –        –        35

5.2     Summary of Findings    –        –        –        –        –        –        37

5.3     Recommendations         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        38

5.4     Conclusion                     –        –        –        –        –        –        –        38

5.5     Limitation of Study                 –        –        –        –        –        39

5.6     Further Studies    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        39




Table 1:The demographic data of the respondents  —————————— 27

Table 2: The prevalence of low back pain among the respondents  ——— 29

Table 3: Task   performed by radiographers ———————————— 31

Table 4: Risk factors of low back pain ——————————————- 33

Table 5: Comparison of the prevalence of low back pain among

radiographers in Enugu and Ebonyi State   ——————————–34



Low back pain  (LBP) is defined as a musculoskeletal disorder that is to be due  to a sprain or stain in the muscles and soft tissues of the back1. It is a disorder with many possible aetiologies, occurring in different groups, and is also a common health condition in working populations. Intensification of work, changes in scheduling and organization of the workplace, rising demands on employees as well as new technologies lead to situations characterized by additional pressure and stress. As a result, more and more occupational or work related diseases have appeared such as musculoskeletal  problems, stress, occupational burnout, chronic exhaustion and depression2.

Low back pain occurs more frequently in men while some women may experience it due to certain medical conditions such as pregnancy, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroid3.

The prevalence of low back pain can be extensively managed  engaging in physical activities such as massage, stretching and exercises, which limits the pain and aids in recovery. Exercises restores motion and strength to lower back and can be helpful in preventing further episodes of low back pain4.

In Nigeria, radiographers are employed in hospitals and radiology services, whose duties are in diagnostic imaging examination, including diagnostic or conventional radiography, computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, radiotherapy, ultransonography and mammography. Radiographers’ tasks include preparing the patients for the radiological examination, positioning and immobilizing them on examination table, positioning radiographic equipment over the appropriate area of patient’s body, and in some cases developing X-ray films.

Thus, work tasks performed by radiographers  frequently involve manual handling of patients and equipment.  Manual handling is an important risk factor in occupational musculoskeletal disorders of healthcare workers; for example, a high prevalence of low back pain has been reported among nurses5. Similarly, recent studies have shown occupational musculoskeletal disorders to be a common problem among radiographers, with high prevalence rates for low back (60% to 75%), problem6.

However to my knowledge, limited data have been reported concerning low back pain among practicing radiographers in government hospitals in Nigeria and particularly in Enugu and Ebonyi States, which were therefore the subjects of this study.


  1. The possible existence, and exact causes of low back pain among radiographers have not been documented in the locality under study.
  2. How often radiographers are disposed to low back pain when carrying out their work has not been documented in the locality under study.


  1. To determine the prevalence of low back pain among practicing radiographers in Enugu and Ebonyi States
  2. To determine the risk factors that could be responsible for low back pain among radiographers.
  3. To compare low back pain among radiographers in Enugu and Ebonyi State.


  1. This study will provide an overview of radiographers with low back pain in Enugu and Ebonyi States.
  2. It will establish the risk factors responsible for low back pain among radiographers.
  3. It will define the coping strategy employed by radiographers with low back pain.


This study will cover practicing radiographers in Federal and State Tertiary Hospitals in Enugu and Ebonyi States.


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