Introduction. Physically induced joints pain is a relatively common finding in military personnel. Occupational factors like level of activity, style of job performance and individual factor like physical composition of body, sex are described as the risk factors. In this study we describe the pattern of joint involvement in the military personnel and compare it with non-military patients.
Methods. This descriptive-comparative cross-sectional study was performed in 3 military and 3 non-military hospitals in a 3 year period. A census of all patients with confirmed physically induced joint pain was performed. Patient data in 3 fields of demographic data, occupation (job category) and involved joints was requested. Using frequency matching for sex, age, height and weight 1230 patient enrolled in the study. Analysis performed using chi-square test.
Results. 640(52%) patients were military patients and 630(51.2%) patients were male. No significant difference was present in mean age, weight, height and work experience. Male gender was predominant in military patients (53.1%) but in non-military patients it was 49.1%. Distribution of military patients in job categories of combat, logistic, engineering, cultural, security and non-governmental were 179(28%), 218(34%), 102(16%), 51(8%), 90(14%), 0% respectively. The distribution has significant association with being military and non-military patients (p<0.001), similar association was present in male patients (P<0.001) but not in females.
Discussion. According to the finding of this study, military patients especially male patients and the ones in security and combat categories are under more physical stress and pressure and are more prone to have joints injuries. Routine evaluation of physical and health and general health, using selected personnel with appropriate body composition in mentioned job categories and enhancement of physical fitness should be considered in military personnel to prevent such injuries.