(17/1401) Do repetitive tasks give rise to musculoskeletal disorders?

Repetitive tasks can undoubtedly cause discomfort and pain, but whether they cause or worsen the pathology causing the pain is most uncertain. Research in this area is difficult as the 'work-related upper limb disorders' do not occur exclusively in workers and because there is no simple, reliable and reproducible test for most 'work-related upper limb disorders'. Furthermore many studies are difficult to interpret as they detect disease by the presence of symptoms: one would expect manual workers to complain of more symptoms than sedentary workers and symptom aggravation does not tell one anything about the causation of the underlying pathology.  (+info)

(18/1401) Leisure physical activity and various pain symptoms among adolescents.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between leisure physical activity and various pain symptoms in adolescents. METHODS: In this nationwide cohort based cross sectional study in Finland, 698 schoolchildren, 344 girls and 354 boys, aged 10 to 17 years responded to a questionnaire on pain symptoms (neck and shoulder pain, upper back pain, low back pain, upper limb pain, lower limb pain, headache, and abdominal pain) and physical activity habits and also participated in a fitness test. RESULTS: Reported physical activity correlated with measured fitness. Musculoskeletal pains (p = 0.013) (in particular low back pain (p = 0.022), upper limb pain (p<0.001), and lower imb pain (p<0.001)) were found more often in subjects participating in large amounts of leisure physical activity, while non-musculoskeletal pains (p = 0.065) (in particular headache among boys (p = 0.004)) tended to be less common. Co-occurrence of different musculoskeletal pains was common in subjects participating in sports. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to its likely long term health benefits, vigorous physical activity causes musculoskeletal pains during adolescence. This should be considered when tailoring health promotion programmes to adolescents. Also, co-occurrence of musculoskeletal pains may occur as the result of sports activity, which should be considered as a confounder in epidemiological studies on fibromyalgia and related issues.  (+info)

(19/1401) Retrospective versus original information on physical and psychosocial exposure at work.

OBJECTIVES: Retrospective exposure assessments are often performed in epidemiologic studies. The presence of an eventual misclassification, both nondifferential and differential, is debated but can rarely be investigated. The aim of this study was to compare self-reported information on the same physical and psychosocial work exposures with 25 years' difference. METHODS: In 1969-1970 a survey of randomly chosen men and women in Stockholm county, concerning, among other things, work exposures, was undertaken. During 1993-1994, 280 subjects participated in a reexamination, regarding psychosocial and physical factors at work and musculoskeletal disorders. The questions were all formulated in the same way as in 1969-1970. RESULTS: When self-reported information on work exposures, collected with a 25-year interval, was compared, acceptable, although not high, agreement was found for 3 out of 4 physical factors and for 4 out of 10 physical environmental factors. Questions measuring psychosocial load had somewhat lower agreement. Current exposure status influenced the memory of past exposures. Study subjects who reported low-back disorders at the reexamination tended to show a better agreement in their assessments of retrospective exposures than those without current symptoms. When relative risks from original and retrospective data were calculated, hardly any influence on the estimates due to that differential misclassification could be found. For persons with and without neck or shoulder symptoms no apparent differences in assessments were found. CONCLUSIONS: Retrospective assessments of exposures at the workplace showed misclassifications to a certain degree. However, the influence of the misclassifications on the risk estimates was limited.  (+info)

(20/1401) New vessels, new approaches: angiogenesis as a therapeutic target in musculoskeletal disorders.

Musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis are a common cause of pain and disability. The vasculature is an important component of the musculoskeletal system, and vascularization is a key event in the development of normal cartilage and bone. By promoting the delivery of nutrients, oxygen and cells, blood vessels help maintain the structural and functional integrity of joints and soft tissue and may facilitate tissue repair and healing. The identification of pro-angiogenic mediators such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has led to the development of antiangiogenic therapies for the treatment of neoplastic diseases. The important role of angiogenesis, and especially VEGF, in the pathogenesis of joint disorders such as RA suggests that antiangiogenic therapy may be a useful adjunct to existing approaches in RA.  (+info)

(21/1401) Long term non-invasive ventilation in the community for patients with musculoskeletal disorders: 46 year experience and review.

BACKGROUND: A study was undertaken to assess the long term physiological and clinical outcome in 79 patients with musculoskeletal disorders (73 neuromuscular, six of the chest wall) who received non-invasive ventilation for chronic respiratory failure over a period of 46 years. METHODS: Vital capacity (VC) and carbon dioxide tension (PCO(2)) before and after initiation of ventilation, type and duration of ventilatory assistance, the need for tracheostomy, and mortality were retrospectively studied in 48 patients who were managed with mouth/nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (M/NIPPV) and 31 who received body ventilation. The two largest groups analysed were 45 patients with poliomyelitis and 15 with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. Twenty five patients with poliomyelitis received body ventilation (for a mean of 290 months) and 20 were supported by M/NIPPV (mean 38 months). All 15 patients with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy were ventilated by NIPPV (mean 22 months). RESULTS: Fourteen patients with poliomyelitis on body ventilation (56%) but only one on M/NIPPV, and 10 of 15 patients (67%) with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy eventually received tracheostomies for ventilatory support. Five patients with other neuromuscular disorders required tracheostomies. Twenty of 29 tracheostomies (69%) were provided because of progressive disease and hypercarbia which could not be controlled by non-invasive ventilation; the remaining nine were placed because of bulbar dysfunction and aspiration related complications. Nine of 10 deaths occurred in patients on body ventilation (six with poliomyelitis), although the causes of death were varied and not necessarily related to respiratory complications. A proportionately greater number of patients on M/NIPPV (67%) reported positive outcomes (improved sense of wellbeing and independence) than did those on body ventilation (29%, p<0.01). However, other than tracheostomies and deaths, negative outcomes in the form of machine/interface discomfort and self-discontinuation of ventilation also occurred at a rate 2.3 times higher than in the group who received body ventilation. None of the six patients with chest wall disorders (all on M/NIPPV) required tracheostomy or died. Hospital admission rates increased nearly eightfold in patients receiving body ventilation (all poliomyelitis patients) compared with before ventilation (p<0.01) while in those supported by M/NIPPV they were reduced by 36%. CONCLUSIONS: Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in the community over prolonged periods is a feasible although variably tolerated form of management in patients with neuromuscular disorders. While patients who received body ventilation were followed the longest (mean 24 years), the need for tracheostomy and deaths occurred more often in this group (most commonly in the poliomyelitis patients). Despite a number of discomforts associated with M/NIPPV, a larger proportion of patients experienced improved wellbeing, independence, and ability to perform daily activities.  (+info)

(22/1401) The limping child: epidemiology, assessment and outcome.

We investigated the epidemiology, assessment and outcome of acute atraumatic limp in 243 children under the age of 14 years presenting to a paediatric accident and emergency department (AED) over a period of six months. Data were collected at presentation and medical notes were re-examined after 18 to 21 months. The incidence of limp was 1.8 per thousand. The male:female ratio was 1.7:1 and the median age 4.35 years. Limp was mainly right-sided (54%) and painful (80%); 33.7% of the children had localised pain in the hip. A preceding illness was found in 40%. The main diagnosis was 'irritable hip'/transient synovitis (39.5%); Perthes' disease accounted for 2%. Most patients (77%) were managed entirely in the AED. Acute atraumatic limp is a common problem in children presenting to the AED. Most can be safely managed there if guidelines are followed and will have a benign outcome. Further studies are needed to identify the role of preceding illness in the aetiology of acute atraumatic limp.  (+info)

(23/1401) The Southampton examination schedule for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb.

OBJECTIVES: Following a consensus statement from a multidisciplinary UK workshop, a structured examination schedule was developed for the diagnosis and classification of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb. The aim of this study was to test the repeatability and the validity of the newly developed schedule in a hospital setting. METHOD: 43 consecutive referrals to a soft tissue rheumatism clinic (group 1) and 45 subjects with one of a list of specific upper limb disorders (including shoulder capsulitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis and tenosynovitis) (group 2), were recruited from hospital rheumatology and orthopaedic outpatient clinics. All 88 subjects were examined by a research nurse (blinded to diagnosis), and everyone from group 1 was independently examined by a rheumatologist. Between observer agreement was assessed among subjects from group 1 by calculating Cohen's kappa for dichotomous physical signs, and mean differences with limits of agreement for measured ranges of joint movement. To assess the validity of the examination, a pre-defined algorithm was applied to the nurse's examination findings in patients from both groups, and the sensitivity and specificity of the derived diagnoses were determined in comparison with the clinic's independent diagnosis as the reference standard. RESULTS: The between observer repeatability of physical signs varied from good to excellent, with kappa coefficients of 0.66 to 1.00 for most categorical observations, and mean absolute differences of 1.4 degrees -11.9 degrees for measurements of shoulder movement. The sensitivity of the schedule in comparison with the reference standard varied between diagnoses from 58%-100%, while the specificities ranged from 84%-100%. The nurse and the clinic physician generally agreed in their diagnoses, but in the presence of shoulder capsulitis the nurse usually also diagnosed shoulder tendinitis, whereas the clinic physician did not. CONCLUSION: The new examination protocol is repeatable and gives acceptable diagnostic accuracy in a hospital setting. Examination can feasibly be delegated to a trained nurse, and the protocol has the benefit of face and construct validity as well as consensus backing. Its performance in the community, where disease is less clear cut, merits separate evaluation, and further refinement is needed to discriminate between discrete pathologies at the shoulder.  (+info)

(24/1401) Possibilities for regulatory actions in the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.

This review argues that there is a need for regulatory action against work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Designing such regulation is fraught with problems, such as insufficient knowledge about mechanisms and exposure-dose-response relationships, and lack of consensus on definitions. The multifactorial character of the disorders, especially risks involving work organization, further increases the problems. Nevertheless, regulation is necessary because of the poor results of voluntary prevention and the large costs of these disorders. Some major regulations are reviewed, and it is argued that there is insufficient scientific support for quantitative regulations proposed for some European norms. The recent Nordic ergonomic regulations for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders is a step forward, since they succeed in providing guidance, including some on work organizational issues, with only few quantitative measures. Researchers should become more involved in these activities, and priorities in future research that would benefit a more scientific approach to ergonomic regulation are indicated.  (+info)