Musculoskeletal disorders in informal mining workers*

  • Milena Nunes Alves de Sousa Faculdade de Medicina do ABC Hospital Regional do Cariri
  • Branca Maria de Oliveira Santos
  • José Eduardo Zaia
  • Dernival Bertoncello
  • Ankilma do Nascimento Andrade Feitosa
  • Elisangela Vilar de Assis
  • Hermes Melo Teixeira Batista
  • Carlos Bandeira de Mello Monteiro
  • Paula Christianne Gomes Gouveia Souto Maia
  • Italla Maria Pinheiro Bezerra
  • Luiz Carlos de Abreu
  • Paulo Roberto Veiga Quemelo


Introduction: Among the segments and modalities of work, the mining activity is considered problematic with regards to the possibilities of disturbances and occupational diseases that can be of physical, biological and social order.

Objective: determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in informal mining workers of the Seridó region in the state of Paraíba.

Methods: 371 informal workers from the Seridó region participated in the study. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used for the evaluation of the musculoskeletal symptoms.

Results: musculoskeletal symptomatology was reported by the majority of employees in one or more body segments (60.6%, n = 225). The lumbar region was the most affected (36.4%; n = 135). Men showed higher frequency of lumbar problems (p <0.01) than women. Workers of older age reported more musculoskeletal disorders in various body segments. The miners working more hours also reported higher prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in some regions of the body. Those miners with longer service time also reported more musculoskeletal disorders present in some body segments.

Conclusion: informal workers from the Seridó region in the state of Paraiba presented high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, with greater problems in the lumbar and dorsal regions. The age, the length of service in the mining and the working hours contributed to the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders. It is necessary to consider the working hours, the length of service and the age of workers to propose interventional measures.

Aug 3, 2015
How to Cite
ALVES DE SOUSA, Milena Nunes et al. Musculoskeletal disorders in informal mining workers*. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 8, aug. 2015. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 sep. 2021. doi:


work; mining; musculoskeletal disorder related to work.

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