Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Aviation Medicine


Dr. Mark Archambault



Background/Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review current data and treatment recommendations regarding hearing loss/tinnitus, cervicalgia and lumbago among military rotorcraft pilots and their crew.

Method: Separate PubMed searches were completed using the search terms [military helicopter pilot with neck pain, back pain, hearing loss and tinnitus] respectively. 57 relevant articles were generated. These articles combined with Google Scholar searches of the same and the 2019 Report to Armed Services Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives Study on Health of Helicopter and Tiltrotor Pilots: Literature Review and Epidemiology Study will serve as the basis of this review.

Results: Rotorcraft pilots and their crew have an increased incidence of hearing loss, tinnitus, neck pain and back pain.

Discussion/Conclusion: Strong hearing conservation programs have reduced the rate of tinnitus and hearing loss. Neck pain has been associated with heavy laden helmets, helmets with imbalanced load and improper ergonomics within the cockpit. Back pain has been associated with increased length of exposure to vibration, as well as improper ergonomics within the cockpit.


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