Whole-body vibration and low-back pain

A review of epidemiologic studies
  • Carel Hulshof
  • Brinio Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00377733

Cite this article as:
Hulshof, C. & Veldhuijzen van Zanten, B. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath (1987) 59: 205. doi:10.1007/BF00377733


This review presents a critical evaluation of the literature on health effects in long-term occupational exposure to whole-body vibration. To assess the relative weight of each epidemiologic study, a scoring procedure has been used, according to the quality of exposure data, effect data, study design and methodology. The most frequently reported adverse effects are: low-back pain, early degeneration of the lumbar spinal system and herniated lumbar disc. No study reached an adequate score on all criteria of evaluation. Nevertheless, because most studies show a strong tendency in a similar direction, it may be concluded that long-term exposure to wholebody vibration is harmful to the spinal system. The results do not yet permit firm conclusions on exposure-response relationships. Further epidemiologic research, particularly of high-risk groups, is needed.

Key words

Whole-body vibration Epidemiology Low-back pain Spinal degeneration 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carel Hulshof
    • 1
  • Brinio Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    • 1
  1. 1.Coronel Laboratory, Academical Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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