Videman T, Simonen R, Usenius J, Osterman K, Batti?e M.
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton,
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the consequences of rally driving
on lumbar degenerative changes.
BACKGROUND: Vehicular driving is suspected to accelerate
disc degeneration through whole-body vibration, leading to back
problems. However, in an earlier well-controlled study of lumbar
MRI findings in monozygotic twins, significant effects of lifetime
driving on disc degeneration were not demonstrated. Anothe! r study
of machine operators found only long-term exposure to vibration
on unsprung seats led to a reduction in disc height.
DESIGN: Case-control study comparing rally drivers with
METHODS: Eighteen top rally drivers and co-drivers, mean
age 43 yrs (SD, 10), volunteered for the study. The subjects were
interviewed and imaged with a MR scanning and lumbar images were
analyzed for degenerative findings using a standard scoring protocol
previously published. The reference group was composed of 14 men,
mean age 55 yrs (SD, 10), selected from a population sample.
RESULTS: Overall results showed no significant differences
in lumbar degenerative findings as assessed from MR images between
the rally drivers and the reference group; age-adjusted differences
were not statistically significant for disc heights, bulges, herniations,
end-plate irregularities, or osteophytes.
CONCLUSION: Even extreme vehicular vibration as experienced
in rally driving does not appear to h! ave significant effects on
RELEVANCE: The study results do not support driving, and
its associated whole body vibration, as a significant cause of disc
degeneration and question the theory that the higher incidence of
back pain among drivers is due to accelerated disc degeneration.
Other driving-related factors, such as postural stress, may deserve
Publication Types: ·
PMID: 10627323 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
- Clinical trial ·
- Controlled clinical trial