Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Musculoskeletal System -- injuries


Musculoskeletal injuries are frequently reported in the health care industry; an increasing number of physical therapists are affected. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and job factors within the field of physical therapy. A four page questionnaire was sent to 418 randomly selected individuals who graduated from the University of North Dakota Physical Therapy Program between 1970 and 1996. The survey instrument was derived from a literature review and previously conducted studies. It consisted of three sections: general practice, occupational injury, and demographic information. The highest prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders was found in the lumbar spine (34.5%), wrist/hands (20.7%), and cervical spine (18.4%). The most problematic job activity for physical therapists was "lifting and transferring dependent patients." Further research is necessary to investigate the cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders within the field of physical therapy in order to decrease future incidence.