The consequence of head-loading on the neuro-musculoskeletal health of the ILembe District youth of KwaZulu-Natal

African Journal of Disability

Field Value
Title The consequence of head-loading on the neuro-musculoskeletal health of the ILembe District youth of KwaZulu-Natal
Creator Motaung, Tebogo G. Ellapen, Terry J. Paul, Yvonne
Subject rural health head-loading; proprioception; neuromusculoskeletal health; youth; biokinetics; pain
Description Background: Head-loading, as a mode of transporting food, water and firewood, is a longstanding tradition assigned to female South African youth and has been associated with adverse health consequences.Objectives: This study determined the impact of head-loading on the neuromusculoskeletal health and proprioception of female South African youth.Method: This study comprised a counterbalanced, within-subject, single-factor experimental design which compared the changes that occurred when the same independent variable (head-loading) within two homogenous groups was measured in terms of the dependent variables (outcomes: neuromusculoskeletal pain and proprioception) at two time periods, before and after the introduction of the independent variable. A cohort of South African female youth (n = 100), aged 9–17 years, voluntarily partook in the study. The participants were randomly distributed into an experimental (n = 50) and a control (n = 50) group. The experimental group stood in a head-loaded state with their respective habitual head-load mass. Their proprioception measurements were compared during their unloaded versus loaded states, with the proprioceptive measurements including the total proprioception index, the anterior–posterior (front–back) index and the medial–lateral (side-to-side) index. Participants furthermore completed a head-loading health-related questionnaire.Results: Participants had a mean age of 12.3 ± 2.5 years, body mass of 44.4 ± 13.7 kg, stature of 145 ± 10 cm and a head-load mass of 8.0 ± 2.5 kg. Participants had poorer medial–lateral proprioception during head-loading as compared to their unloaded state (1.4 ± 0.8 as compared to 1.6 ± 0.9) (p  0.05). Most youth (96%) experienced neuromusculoskeletal pain in their cervical vertebrae (40.9%), shoulders (27.3%), lumbar vertebrae (10.7%), arms (8.3%), legs (8.3%), knees (1.9%), fingers (1.5%), toes (0.5%) and thoracic vertebrae (0.5%) (χ2: p  0.05).Conclusion: Head-loading adversely affects the medial–lateral proprioception and neuromusculoskeletal health of participants.Contribution: The findings of this study confirms that head-loading produces musculoskeletal pain.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor none
Date 2022-12-14
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — randomised controlled trial
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1039
Source African Journal of Disability; Vol 11 (2022); 7 pages 2226-7220 2223-9170
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa March- April 2021 Age, gender, ethnicity, cranial porters
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Tebogo G. Motaung, Terry J. Ellapen, Yvonne Paul