INTRODUCTION: Although evidence for the effectiveness of single physiotherapy modalities in treating
work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders (WRUEMDs) exists, only limited effectiveness
has been shown for integrated physiotherapy intervention programmes.
MOTHODS: A retrospective study to describe the effect of a work-based physiotherapy and
ergonomics programme on WRUEMDs in seamstresses in a car-seat manufacturing plant in South
Africa over a three-year period was conducted (N = 43). The intervention comprised ergonomic
adaptations, health education and conventional physiotherapy.
RESULTS: The incidence of WRUEMDs decreased signifi cantly over the study duration as did the incidence
of carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel syndrome group was older than the other group.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: The findings provided weak evidence that this integrated
programme was effective but further research with larger samples is recommended.