2017-11-01 12:00 - Messages

Can beliefs about musculoskeletal pain and work be changed at the national level?

Prospective evaluation of the Danish national Job & Body campaign
Using a mixture of networking activities, workplace visits and a mass media campaign, the Danish national Job & Body health campaign improved beliefs about musculoskeletal pain and work among public-sector employees in Denmark. Intensive and long-term national campaigns may be a strategically important tool against musculoskeletal disorders and their consequences in the population.

Source: Andersen, L. L., Geisle, N., & Knudsen, B. (2017). Scand J Work Environ Health.

Time course of neck-shoulder pain among workers

A longitudinal latent class growth analysis
Objectives: The aims of this study were to (i) identify trajectories of neck-shoulder pain (NSP) over one year in an occupational population and (ii) determine whether these trajectories are predicted by NSP characteristics as well as personal and occupational factors at baseline.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted among Danish workers (N=748) from 2012–2014. Text messages were used to collect frequent data on NSP over one year (14 waves in total). Peak NSP intensity in the past month was rated on a 0–10 numeric scale. A baseline questionnaire covered NSP characteristics (pain intensity, duration, comorbidity, pain medication, and pain interference) as well as personal (age, gender, body mass index) and occupational (seniority, work type, physical strain at work) factors. Latent class growth analysis was used to distinguish trajectories of NSP. Multivariate regression models with odds ratios (OR) were constructed to predict trajectories of NSP.
Results: Six distinct trajectories of NSP were identified (asymptomatic 11%, very low NSP 10%, low recovering NSP 18%, moderate recovering NSP 28%, strong fluctuating NSP 24% and severe persistent NSP 9% of the workers). Female gender, age, physical strain at work, NSP intensity and duration, pain medication, and pain interference in daily work at baseline were positively associated with severe persistent NSP and strong fluctuating NSP (all P<0.05). Altogether, personal and occupational factors accounted for 14% of the variance, while NSP characteristics accounted for 54%.
Conclusions: In an occupational sample, six distinct trajectories of NSP were identified. Physical strain at work appears to be a pertinent occupational factor predicting strong fluctuating and severe persistent NSP.

Source: Hallman DM, Rasmussen CDN, Jørgensen MB, Holtermann A. (2017). Scand J Work Environ Health.

Les dispositifs d'assistance physique

Exosquelette, cobot, robot collaboratif… Sous ces dénominatifs parfois un peu barbares, se cache une technologie de plus en plus présente dans le monde du travail : les dispositifs d'assistance physique. Qu'ils soient à contention ou sans, ces systèmes sont destinés à aider physiquement des opérateurs dans l'accomplissement de tâches parfois simples en apparence, mais éprouvantes. Objectif : prévenir l'apparition des troubles musculosquelettiques (TMS) et la pénibilité en limitant la charge physique ou la répétitivité, ou encore prendre en compte le vieillissement au travail ou un handicap et favoriser le maintien dans l'emploi…

Source: (2017). Travail & sécurité.

Work-related physical, psychosocial and individual factors associated with musculoskeletal symptoms among surgeons

Implications for ergonomic interventions
This study evaluated the effect of physical, psychosocial and individual factors on the presence of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) among surgeons (n = 312) in Iran. Data were collected using questionnaires and analysed by multivariate logistic regression. The prevalence of MSS, particularly in the knees (48.7%), neck (45.8%), low back (42.3%) and shoulders (40.1%) was relatively high. Work-related factors including time spent on surgeries each week (>25 h/week), number of hours working in standing position per day (>4 h/day), moderate to high levels of work–family conflict, duration of each surgery (>3 h), number of years worked as a surgeon (>10 years) and surgical specialty (particularly cardiothoracic and obstetric/gynecologic surgeries) were independently associated with the presence of MSS in different body regions. Individual factors including gender (being female) and little or no involvement in sport and physical activity were also independently associated with the occurrence of complaints. Implications of the findings for further research and development work for improving the working conditions and consequently reducing MSS among this working group are discussed.

Source: Dianat, I., Bazazan, A., Azad, M. A. S., & Salimi, S. S. (2018). Applied Ergonomics, 67, 115-124.

Return on investment of interventions for the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal

There were two key objectives for the work:
- To conduct a literature review to identify which interventions are cost-effective in reducing the complications associated with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, neck pain or back pain;
- To develop an ROI tool that allows the resource and financial consequences of implementing these cost-effective interventions nationally and at local levels.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653736/musculoskeletal_conditions_return_on_investment_final_report.pdf

Effectiveness of a participatory physical and psychosocial intervention to balance the demands and resources of industrial workers

A cluster-randomized controlled trial
This study evaluated a participatory intervention aiming to improve the work ability and need for recovery of industrial workers. The intervention was not effective and rather showed tendencies for adverse effects. Companies should consider intervention-related potential adverse effects on workers with already high work demands, and we recommend development of better effect evaluation designs specifically for participatory interventions.

Source: Gupta, N., Wåhlin-Jacobsen, C. D., Abildgaard, J. S., Henriksen, L. N., Nielsen, K., & Holtermann, A. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Saddle Seat Reduces Musculoskeletal Discomfort in Microsurgery Surgeons

Background. Microsurgery is a surgical procedure that requires a high degree of precision and is commonly facilitated through the use of an intraoperative microscope. When operating the microscope system, the long-term posture and stance lead to fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders in surgeons, and seats are commonly employed to diminish these problems. The present study was conducted to evaluate musculoskeletal discomfort during work with a saddle seat especially designed for people using intraoperative microscopes in comparison with conventional seats for microscopic works. Materials and methods. In this study, two types of seats, a saddle and a conventional, were evaluated on 73 microsurgical surgeons in terms of musculoskeletal discomfort. Corlett and Bishop's body part discomfort scale (BPD) was used to assess musculoskeletal discomfort before and after working with the seats. Results. We found that the highest amount of discomfort that microsurgical surgeons acquire in the workplace was focused on their neck, shoulder, arm and back, respectively. During the work with a saddle seat, a significant reduction was found for discomfort values in neck, shoulder, arm, back, elbow and forearm, as well as the whole body (p <0.05). Over 89 percent of the participants said that the use of this seat causes increased comfort during operation. Conclusion. This study showed that the use of saddle seats provides a more appropriate physical posture at work, and can decrease musculoskeletal discomfort in different parts of the body of microsurgical surgeons.

Source: Labbafinejad, Y., Ghasemi, M. S., Bagherzadeh, A., Aazami, H., Eslami-Farsani, M., & Dehghan, N. (2017). International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.

Effects of prolonged microscopic work on neck and back strain amongst male ENT clinicians and the benefits of a prototype postural support chair

Musculoskeletal pain is a common occupational hazard experienced by surgeons. Otologists are predisposed to neck and back pain due to regular prolonged microscopic work. We conducted a prospective pilot study to investigate the effects of sustained microscopic work on the neck and back, its correlation to surgical experience and to assess the benefits of a prototype postural support chair (PSC) amongst 10 male ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinicians. We used a subjective measure of time to fatigue and pain for the neck and back as well as objective readings from a surface electromyogram (sEMG). We found that an increase in surgical experience correlated with the time taken to experience fatigue and pain in the neck and back. This was corroborated by our sEMG findings. The PSC significantly delayed the sensations in the neck and also eliminated the difference seen amongst the varying seniority of clinicians.

Source: Vijendren, A., Devereux, G., Kenway, B., Duffield, K., Van Rompaey, V., van de Heyning, P. et Yung, M. (2017). International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.

Exercise for the Prevention of Low Back Pain

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the effect of exercise in population-based interventions to prevent low back pain (LBP) and associated disability. Comprehensive literature searches were conducted in multiple databases including PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library from their inception through June 2017. Thirteen randomized controlled trials and three non-randomized controlled trials qualified for meta-analyses. Exercise alone reduced the risk of LBP by 33% (risk ratio = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.85, I2 = 23%, 8 randomized controlled trials, n = 1,634) and exercise combined with education by 27% (risk ratio = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.91, I2 = 6%, 6 trials, n = 1,381). The severity of LBP and disability from LBP were also lower in exercise than control groups. Moreover, results were not changed by excluding the non-randomized controlled trials, or by adjustment for publication bias. Few trials assessed healthcare consultation or sick leave for LBP, and meta-analyses did not show statistically significant protective effects of exercise on those outcomes. Exercise reduces the risk of LBP and associated disability, and a combination of strengthening with either stretching or aerobic exercises performed 2–3 times/week can reasonably be recommended for prevention of LBP in the general population.

Source: Shiri, R., Coggon, D., & Falah-Hassani, K. (2017). American Journal of Epidemiology.

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