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Anatomical distribution of musculoskeletal disorders following a road traffic collision in litigants presenting to physiotherapists within a private-clinic in North-East England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rosie Morris, Dr Sam Stuart


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Introduction: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common following a road traffic collision (RTC) in England. Establishing the anatomical distribution of MSDs following RTC that present to physiotherapists may improve understanding and clinical practice. This study examined anatomical distribution of MSDs that present to physiotherapists within a litigant population following an RTC in England. Methods: A retrospective review of physiotherapy records was conducted at a private practice in North-East England. Data were collected from 2105 patients between January 2014 and December 2015. The primary outcome was anatomical regions with MSDs. Descriptive data is reported. Results: Overall, 90% of patients presented with a neck/upper back disorder, while 52% presented with a lower back disorder. Of the assessed patients, 46% presented with one MSD, 45% presented with two MSDs while 9% presented with ≥ 3 MSDs. Further analysis showed that those who presented to physiotherapy later and were not motor vehicle occupants (MVOs) were more likely to have upper-limb, lower-limb or lumbar MSDs. Younger patients, who presented sooner and were non-MVO were more likely to have multiple regions affected by MSDs. Conclusions: This study presents epidemiological evidence that MSDs following a RTC occur primarily in the neck/upper back or lower back regions, and that multiple MSDs are common.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sewell J, Dixon C, Morris R, Stuart S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

Year: 2019

Volume: 35

Issue: 9

Pages: 873-883

Print publication date: 01/09/2019

Online publication date: 16/04/2018

Acceptance date: 20/12/2017

Date deposited: 14/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0959-3985

ISSN (electronic): 1532-5040

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1459986


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