The Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy

: 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 117--118

Musculoskeletal sciences and work rehabilitation - A specialty in occupational therapy's clinical and research practice: The indian versus global scenario

Punita V Solanki1, Anil K Srivastava2,  
1 Ex-Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy School and Department, Seth G. S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel; Visiting Consultant Occupational Therapist, C/o NM Medical; Visiting Consultant Occupational Therapist, C/o AR Orthopaedic and ICU Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Associate Editor, The Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy, India
2 Director, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Centre, Rehabcare, Lucknow; Director, Deenbandhu Rehabilitation Center, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh; President, The All India Occupational Therapists' Association; Editor-in-Chief, The Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy; Executive Chairman,The Academic Council of Occupational Therapy; WFOT Delegate

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anil K Srivastava
93, Laxmanpuri, Faizabad Road, Lucknow - 226 016, Uttar Pradesh, India

How to cite this article:
Solanki PV, Srivastava AK. Musculoskeletal sciences and work rehabilitation - A specialty in occupational therapy's clinical and research practice: The indian versus global scenario.Indian J Occup Ther 2019;51:117-118

How to cite this URL:
Solanki PV, Srivastava AK. Musculoskeletal sciences and work rehabilitation - A specialty in occupational therapy's clinical and research practice: The indian versus global scenario. Indian J Occup Ther [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jun 20 ];51:117-118
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Full Text

The Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy (IJOT) is an esteemed, national, scientific, peer-reviewed, quarterly, official publication of the All India Occupational Therapists' Association (AIOTA), incepted in 1955. The founder of occupational therapy (OT) profession in India and Asia, Mrs. Kamala V. Nimbkar was instrumental in launching it. The Journal received its ISSN registration number in 1956. It is being published since the past six decades, with the year 2019 embarking its 51st volume. The Journal, since its inception, was published and printed by the AIOTA. The publication work now has been handed over to the prestigious publishing house Medknow group of Wolters Kluwer India Private Limited from 2018 Issue 3 (July-September) onward.[1]

The Journal publishes original and review research articles as well as case reports, editorials, and letters to the editor, in various specialties of OT, viz., developmental disabilities, neurosciences, musculoskeletal sciences, work rehabilitation, mental health, cardiopulmonary sciences, and community-based rehabilitation, besides other significant areas of OT practice on a quarterly basis. About 28%-30% of the IJOT publications in the past three decades, since the early 1990s, have been related to musculoskeletal sciences, as compared to other specialty areas of practice, which signifies that it is quite a distinct area of clinical practice in India. The issues that have been researched pertaining to musculoskeletal sciences and are published in the IJOT in the past three decades have been surrounding the matters on back and neck care, amputation, splinting, osteoarthritis, hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries, brachial plexus injuries, adhesive capsulitis, hand injuries, etc., However, the global statistics including India is more toward OT in mental health and developmental disabilities.

Since 2017, Issue 4 (October-December) of the IJOT each year has been designated as specialty edition in the predefined theme as was recommended by the editorial board of the IJOT and thereafter approved by the AIOTA Executive Committee. In 2017, the theme of specialty edition was Pediatric Science; in 2018, it was Neuro-Rehabilitation; and in the current year 2019, Issue 4 theme is “Musculoskeletal Sciences And Work Rehabilitation."

Many national and international journals on subjects of OT have been now publishing many articles pertaining to musculoskeletal conditions, and there have been specialty editions as well.

A special issue on “Role of OT for Adults with Musculoskeletal Conditions” was published by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2017. Roll, in his guest editorial for this special issue, highlighted on the “current evidence and opportunities for expanding the role of OT for adults with musculoskeletal conditions” and proposed methods to advance OT practice for improving the lives of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions.[2] Roll emphasizes in his guest editorial that “It is vital that OT practitioners embrace musculoskeletal and work rehabilitation as important areas of practice within OT and ensure that these practice settings are included in the professional lexicon."

A systematic analysis,[3] from the global burden of disease study from 1990 to 2017, by Jesus et al., on “Global Need for Physical Rehabilitation” which includes musculoskeletal conditions in a group of physical illnesses and injuries, concludes that physical rehabilitation needs have been increasing significantly over a period of time, globally, not only in absolute terms but also in per-capita and in percentage of the total amount of total years lived with disability. This means that physical rehabilitation is anticipating a higher portion of the global burden of disability. It was found that the countries of lower-income level with typically underprivileged rehabilitation infrastructure had the highest absolute increase in physical rehabilitation needs. High-income countries had significant decrease in per-capita age-standardized needs, due to wider implementation of physical rehabilitation services.[3] These research findings suggests that there is high need of professionals such as occupational therapists for physical rehabilitation globally, and especially in low-income countries, which has minimal rehabilitation infrastructure. Hence, we urge the occupational therapists in India to further explore the OT profession's potentials in dealing musculoskeletal conditions, thereby showcasing its role in clinical practice of physical rehabilitation, and also to generate more research studies to add to the existing evidence-based research on OT in musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

This specialty edition of the IJOT on “Musculoskeletal Sciences and Work Rehabilitation” is an effort or the initial step to generate a focused record on research in musculoskeletal conditions in India. The current specialty edition of IJOT encompasses one guest editorial, six original research papers on musculoskeletal conditions and work rehabilitation on topics such as: heavy school bags in children and their effects, quality of life in office workers with mechanical lower backache, driving simulator assessments, myofascial release and myofascial taping in DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, smart phone addiction and hand dexterity, and risks of musculoskeletal disorders in kitchen tasks, and two case reports on knee osteoarthritis and splinting in post traumatic elbow stiffness. The issue also carries news and information of professional relevance including a brief report on enthusiastic celebration of World OT Day and OT India month 2019 by the AIOTA, its branches, and institutions from all over the country.

There is always a scope of improvisation, and we invite suggestions from members and institutions for further improvising this publication of repute for occupational therapists in India.


1The Indian Journal of Occupational Therapy. An Official Publication of the All India Occupational Therapists' Association. Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow. Available from: [Last updated on 2018; Last accessed on 2019 Nov 26].
2Roll SC. Current evidence and opportunities for expanding the role of occupational therapy for adults with musculoskeletal conditions. Am J Occup Ther 2017;71:7101170010.
3Jesus TS, Landry MD, Hoenig H. Global need for physical rehabilitation: Systematic analysis from the global burden of disease study 2017. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019;16. pii:E980.