Background and Aim: Neck pain is a common disease and a relatively early disorder among military personnel. Neck pain causes disability, reduced quality of life, productivity, combat readiness of forces, and increased health care costs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk factors associated with neck pain in male military Personnel.
Methods: In this case-control study, 200 male military personnel with chronic neck pain and 200 healthy military personnel were evaluated by simple random sampling. A three-part questionnaire (demographic, occupational and clinical information) with closed questions, NDI (Neck Disability Index), Job Related Physical Demands questionnaire (JRPD), Health Risk Appraisals questionnaire (HRA) was used as the tools. For both groups, four questionnaires were completed, then the relationship between risk factors associated with neck pain in both groups was determined.
Results: The demographic data (age, height, weight, work experience) was matched between both groups. Among the factors studied, there were positive significant relationships between neck pain with hard job titles (p=0.010), prolong work experience (p=0.002), heavy and continuous physical activity (p=0.011), exercises of neck - shoulders and shoulder belt (p=0.002), movements associated with lifting a heavy load of more than 25 kg (p=0.002), daily working hours (p=0.007), deformity in the dorsal and cervical spine (p=0.002), movements with bending and righting (p=0.002), neck rotation (p=0.005), movements accompanied by heavy load-displacement from the height above the shoulder (p=0.002) and awkward posture (p=0.004). Also, there were negative significant relationships between neck pain with attendance in exercise programs (P=0.003), body mass index (p=0.025) education level (p=0.003), smoking (p=0.017), duration of neck pain (p=0.002), history of neck pain (p=0.010) carrying heavy bags and objects by shoulder belt (p=0.002), and duration of exercise in male military Personnel.
Conclusion: By identifying the risk factors associated with neck pain and reducing the amount of these factors, new lesions or their expansion can be prevented and the level of efficiency of military forces can be improved.