Specialists often assume that osteoarthritis is caused by heavy labouring work. But is it? If it is then defences should be explored as should potential case load.
A Lievense et al. Journal of Rheumatology. November (2001) Vol. 28 #11 p 2520.
Systematic review of research findings linking work with osteo arthritis of the Hip.
16 articles were selected in out of 2,921 on the grounds of study quality.
All retained studies found hip OA associated with heavy vs. light workload.
12 of these were statistically significant but none were high quality cohort studies. That is they were snaphots.
So the authors suspect recall bias as a possible explanation for the association.
10 of the 16 studies showed a dose response relationship.
This review is of an acceptable quality.
The association and dose-response relationships could both be explained by the availability and seeking of medical assistance: Hip OA cases are more likely to seek treatment because pain hinders work hence a false positive association. The heavier the work the more unable a sufferer is to perform it and the more likely to seek medical assistance.
The strength of association is not great but will encourage researchers to examine the issue more carefully.
The Manual Handling Regulations define a duty of care.