Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 416–429 | Cite as

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Massage Practitioners

  • Yuh Jang
  • Chia-Fen Chi
  • Jau-Yih Tsauo
  • Jung-Der WangEmail author
Original Paper


Introduction: Massage practitioners are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). We investigated the prevalence and risk factors. Methods: We randomly selected 161 visually impaired practitioners. Demographics, musculoskeletal symptoms, and working postures were analyzed with multivariate logistic regression. Results: Results indicated that about 71.4% had at least one WMSD in 12 months. Prevalence rates were finger or thumb, 50.3%; shoulder, 31.7%; wrist, 28.6%; neck, 25.5%; arm or elbow, 23.6%; forearm, 20.5%; and back, 19.3%. Working duration >20 years had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) for finger or thumb 4.0–4.5 with 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5–13.8, client contact >4 h/day (adjusted OR for finger = 3.2, 95% CI=1.3–8.1), and ≤7-kg pulp-pinch strength (adjusted OR for upper extremity = 2.9–3.2, 95% CI=1.2–8.3). Adjusted ORs for lower-back symptoms were 3.1 (95% CI=1.3–7.8) and 3.6 (95% CI=1.4–9.6), respectively, for lack of neutral neck posture and for inappropriate working-table height. Conclusion: WMSDs were prevalent among massage practitioners.


Musculoskeletal disorder Risk factor Prevalence Working posture Massage 



This study was supported by a research grant (number 93-7-016) from the Employment Fund for People with Disabilities in Taipei City. This study was also received partial financial support and technical support by the National Health Research Institute (grant number NHRI-EX94-9204PP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuh Jang
    • 1
  • Chia-Fen Chi
    • 2
  • Jau-Yih Tsauo
    • 3
  • Jung-Der Wang
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Occupational TherapyCollege of Medicine, National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Industrial ManagementNational Taiwan University of Science & TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.School and Graduate Institute of Physical TherapyCollege of Medicine, National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental and Occupational MedicineNational Taiwan University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan.

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