Background: Hair-stylists and barbers face the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to awkward postures.
Study Objectives: The purpose of the study was to assess upper extremity and neck disability in hairdressers.
Results: There was increasing disability with increase in age and increase in work experience.
Conclusions: It can be concluded that awkward neck posture and repetitive work done by upper extremity exacerbates degenerative changes and increases risk of disability in hairdressers with increase in age and experience.
95 female and seven male beauty therapists were studied:
Neck pain was reported by 58% of the subjects while chronic neck pain was experienced by 10%. Hand and low-back complaints were almost as prevalent as neck pain, but chronic pain was reported more frequently for these sites. Hand/wrist and low back complaints resulted more time lost from work and doctors visits. Neck and knee pain resulted less sickness absence than the other complaints. It seems that regarding the burden of the specific complaints, hand/wrist and back pain followed by shoulder were the most important complaints among cosmetologists
The physical demands this profession strain the upper body more than in any other profession:
Work long periods
Use both arms
Stand/ sit for long periods
Move the fingers and hand constantly
Stay in one place for long periods
Bend and move in awkward positions
Due to these stresses, hairdressers have a greater likelihood of developing the following:
Neck, shoulder, arm, elbow and/or wrist pain, numbness or tingling
Hip/knee/low back pain
Over time, the continued stress put on the body may speed up degeneration and lead to other musculoskeletal conditions.
These studies point out the need for early treatment and intervention. Chronic low back and wrist/hand pain can threaten the livelihood of those in the beauty industry.