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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 14

J Clin Med



Chronic Pain in Spanish Wildland Firefighters.


García-Heras F, Gutiérrez-Arroyo J, León-Guereño P, Carballo-Leyenda B, Rodríguez-Marroyo JA
J Clin Med. 2022 Feb 14; 11(4).
PMID: 35207262.


The work performed by wildland firefighters (WFFs) is very demanding owing to the conditions in which they have to operate. It has been reported that these professionals walk long distances over unstable and steep terrain carrying heavy loads, handle tools manually and repeatedly and are subject to a high level of thermal stress. Under such conditions, the risk of developing chronic pain (CP) is high, although despite this, there are no available data pertaining to CP among WFFs, to the best of our knowledge. As such, the aim of this study is to describe CP in Spanish helitack crews, for which purpose 221 WFFs (203 men and 18 women) completed an online self-report questionnaire. Approximately 60% of WFFs reported suffering from CP, of which 45.5% had CP in more than one body region at the same time. Age and length of service were associated with the probability of suffering from CP. Likewise, the age and height of WFFs and weight of the protective equipment used increased the prevalence of CP. Lastly, gender and job position affected CP location, with women and forepersons reporting greater prevalence of CP in the lower limbs. To conclude, the results obtained suggest the major prevalence of CP among Spanish WFFs, with current data suggesting in turn the importance that age, stature, gender, length of service, weight of protective equipment and job position have on the prevalence and location of CP.