Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among professional drivers: A systematic review

Leonard Henry Joseph, Miles Standen, Aatit Paungmali, Raija Kuisma, Patraporn Sitilertpisan, Ubon Pirunsan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professional drivers are at high risk of developing musculoskeletal pain (MSP) due to risk factors such as prolonged sitting, whole body vibration, awkward posture, and repetitive actions. This review investigates the reported prevalence of MSP among professional drivers.

An electronic search of Medline (1946 + via OvidSP), Embase (1974 + OvidSP), CINAHL (1982+), AMED, PubMed, and Web of Science from 1990 to July 2019 was performed. Methodological quality of studies was assessed using three quality assessment tools for cross‐sectional, case‐control, and prospective cohort studies. The prevalence of MSP was reported using descriptive analysis.

A total of 56 studies conducted in 23 different countries across a total of 14 types of occupational transport were reviewed. Data of a total pooled population of 18 882 professional drivers were analyzed for MSP. The prevalence of MSP ranged between 43.1% and 93%. The low back was the most frequently reported body region for MSP with a meta‐prevalence rate of 53% (N = 9998). Neck, shoulder, and upper back were the other common regions with high prevalence.

There is a high prevalence of MSP in professional drivers and low back was the most frequently reported body region, followed by neck, upper back, shoulder, knee, hip/thigh, wrist, ankle, and elbow. MSP is complicated in nature and therefore in‐depth exploration of causal relationships between MSP and risk factors is necessary so that appropriate healthcare programs can be initiated to prevent and treat MSP effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12150
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Occupational health
  • Prevalence
  • Professional drivers
  • Rehabilitation
  • prevalence
  • professional drivers
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • rehabilitation
  • occupational health


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