All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Karen Heaton

Advisory Committee Members

David Brown

Sean Gallagher

Allison Jones

Pariya Wheeler

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


Introduction: Musculoskeletal injuries in the occupational setting have significant impact on the worker, employer, and healthcare system. Commercial truck drivers (CTD) experience some of the highest rates of injury, missed days of work, and workers’ compensation costs compared with other workers. In this population, back injuries occur most commonly, followed by shoulder injuries which require 5 times more days away from work. Commercial truck drivers are significantly impacted by shoulder injuries; however, little is known about the unique mechanisms of injury, specific injuries, or possible preventative measures among this group of workers. Methods: A retrospective medical record review was completed to investigate musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulder among a group of CTDs between the ages of 21 and 65. One hundred and thirty participants (N = 130) were identified for the study. Demographic, anthropometric, and injury data were collected using inclusion/exclusion criteria. Results: A majority of injured CTDs were male (97%), white (66%), between 36-45 years of age (34%), and obese (59%). These commercial truck drivers were most often injured during a fall (35%) or while using chains, tarps, or straps (31%). The most common musculoskeletal disorders were unspecified sprains/strains (58%), and 58% of these drivers were 45 years old or younger. Only 9% had to be referred to a surgeon. Rotator cuff tears (24%) were the second most common documented musculoskeletal disorder but 74% of these drivers were 46 years of age or older and 94% had to be referred. A statistically significant association was found between the age of the commercial truck drivers and the musculoskeletal disorder (p = 0.001) with an increased risk of developing rotator cuff tears as they age (p =0.005). Conclusions: This study highlights the impact falls and the use of chains, tarps, and straps have on the development of musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulder in commercial truck driver. Also, in this group, age was associated with musculoskeletal disorders particularly rotator cuff injuries. Future research is needed to expand on this new knowledge and evaluate intervention research.

Included in

Nursing Commons