High Prevalence of Shoulder Injuries Among Teachers
Dr Zingisa Nyawose’s PhD in Biokinetics and Sport Science points to a high prevalence of shoulder injuries among schoolteachers.
‘Shoulder pain is the most commonly reported musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) among primary school teachers,’ said Nyawose who was supervised by Professor Rowena Naidoo.
‘Shoulder pain among teachers can be associated with a reduced range of motion and muscle strength, resulting in further shoulder impairment and dysfunction,’ she explained. Many teachers experience shoulder pain due to the nature of their work, such as having to write on the chalkboard for long periods of time. ‘This can result in early retirement due to ill-health, increased sick leave, decreased productivity and decreased performance,’ noted Nyawose.
The eight-week shoulder rehabilitation intervention programme she developed was found to be a cost-effective solution to reduce shoulder pain and improve teachers’ ability to perform daily tasks.
The study was conducted in Pinetown district schools and Nyawose discovered that most teachers in the area were not aware of the profession of Biokinetics, which involves rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions.
‘Most would suffer from such conditions to a point of requiring surgery without having had exercise rehabilitation as a treatment option.’
Articles based on the study have been published in the South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, Global Journal of Health Science and the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation.
Nyawose is a practicing Biokineticist with interests in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, health and fitness promotion, chronic disease management and enhancing physical fitness, with exercise as a modality of treatment.
She is passionate about her profession and would like to engage more communities, especially those that are still not aware of Biokinetics, to promote health and fitness, thereby improving their quality of life.
‘I have also developed a love for research and would like to be involved in more of that, including supervising and helping students,’ she said.
Nyawose grew up in a family-oriented home, with her parents and seven siblings. She is married and has a daughter.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini