Back Pain in Helicopter Flight Operations,
ARMY SAFETY CENTER FORT RUCKER AL
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One of the major medical problems associated with military helicopter flight operations is the high prevalence of back pain reported by flightcrews. Epidemiological surveys have indicated that up to 75 percent of helicopter flightcrews complain of this affliction and that it is having a significant effect on manpower availability. The two most widely implicated etiological factors in this problem are poor posture dictated by control and seat configurations in most operational helicopters and the chronic vibration to which helicopter flightcrews are subjected. This paper reviews the epidemiology and etiology of back pain in helicopter aircrews and discusses potential means for treatment and prevention.