A chiropractic service arrangement for musculoskeletal complaints in industry: a pilot study.
Chiropractic services are commonly used by workers with musculoskeletal problems, especially low back and neck complaints. Research into the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this approach is, however, difficult to design without prior pilot studies. This study followed 32 workers with these complaints attending one such service and used five measures of outcome over a 6-month period. These measured pain (VAS), disability (FLP), quality of life (SF-36), perceived benefit and satisfaction with care. Additionally, sickness costs to the companies were recorded over two years encompassing the study period. Treatment utilization was also monitored. Over half the population were chronic sufferers. The effect sizes were large for pain and for seven out of eight dimensions of the SF-36 questionnaire at 6-month follow-up, although not for disability (FLP). High levels of satisfaction and perceived improvement were reported and sickness costs to the companies fell. However, the sample size in this pilot study was small and did not include controls. We would, therefore, recommend a full cost-effectiveness study incorporating a randomized trial in this area. (+info)
Pain after whiplash: a prospective controlled inception cohort study.
OBJECTIVES: In Lithuania, there is little awareness of the notion that chronic symptoms may result from rear end collisions via the so-called whiplash injury. After most such collisions no contact with the health service is established. An opportunity therefore exists to study post-traumatic pain without the confounding factors present in western societies. METHODS: In a prospective, controlled inception cohort study, 210 victims of a rear end collision were consecutively identified from the daily records of the Kaunas traffic police. Neck pain and headache were evaluated by mailed questionnaires shortly after the accident, after 2 months, and after 1 year. As controls, 210 sex and age matched subjects were randomly taken from the population register of the same geographical area and evaluated for the same symptoms immediately after their identification and after 1 year. RESULTS: Initial pain was reported by 47% of accident victims; 10% had neck pain alone, 18% had neck pain together with headache, and 19% had headache alone. The median duration of the initial neck pain was 3 days and maximal duration 17 days. The median duration of headache was 4.5 hours and the maximum duration was 20 days. After 1 year, there were no significant differences between the accident victims and the control group concerning frequency and intensity of these symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: In a country were there is no preconceived notion of chronic pain arising from rear end collisions, and thus no fear of long term disability, and usually no involvement of the therapeutic community, insurance companies, or litigation, symptoms after an acute whiplash injury are self limiting, brief, and do not seem to evolve to the so-called late whiplash syndrome. (+info)
Epidurography and therapeutic epidural injections: technical considerations and experience with 5334 cases.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Even in experienced hands, blind epidural steroid injections result in inaccurate needle placement in up to 30% of cases. The use of fluoroscopy and radiologic contrast material provides confirmation of accurate needle placement within the epidural space. We describe our technique and experience with contrast epidurography and therapeutic epidural steroid injections, and review the frequency of systemic and neurologic complications. METHODS: Epidural steroid injections were performed in 5489 consecutive outpatients over a period of 5 1/2 years by three procedural neuroradiologists. In 155 cases (2.8%), the injections were done without contrast material owing to either confirmed or suspected allergy. The remaining 5334 injections were performed after epidurography through the same needle. Patients and referring clinicians were instructed to contact us first regarding complications or any problem potentially related to the injection. In addition, the referring clinicians' offices were instructed to contact us regarding any conceivable procedure-related complications. RESULTS: Only 10 patients in the entire series required either oral (n = 5) or intravenous (n = 5) sedation. Four complications (0.07%) required either transport to an emergency room (n = 2) or hospitalization (n = 2). None of the complications required surgical intervention, and all were self-limited with regard to symptoms and imaging manifestations. Fluoroscopic needle placement and epidurography provided visual confirmation of accurate needle placement, distribution of the injectate, and depiction of epidural space disease. CONCLUSION: Epidurography in conjunction with epidural steroid injections provides for safe and accurate therapeutic injection and is associated with an exceedingly low frequency of untoward sequelae. It can be performed safely on an outpatient basis and does not require sedation or special monitoring. (+info)
Risk factors for neck and upper limb disorders: results from 24 years of follow up.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate associations between different potential risk factors, related and not related to work, and disorders of the neck and upper extremities occurring up to 24 years later. METHODS: The study comprised 252 women and 232 men, Swedish citizens, 42-59 years of age and in a broad range of occupations. Information about potential risk factors was available from a former study conducted in 1969. Data on disorders of the neck, shoulder, and hand-wrist disorders were obtained retrospectively for the period 1970-93. RESULTS: Risk factors were found to differ between the sexes. Among women over-time work, high mental workload, and unsatisfactory leisure time were associated with disorders in the neck-shoulder region. Interaction was found between high mental workload and unsatisfactory leisure time. Neck symptoms earlier in life were associated with recurrent disorders. Hand and wrist disorders were associated mainly with physical demands at work. Among men blue collar work and a simultaneous presence of high mental workload and additional domestic workload predicted disorders in the neck-shoulder region. CONCLUSIONS: Factors related and not related to work were associated with disorders of the neck, shoulders, and hands and wrist up to 24 years later in life. These included factors related to working hours which previously have not been noted in this context. Interactions between risk factors both related and not related to work were commonly found. (+info)
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for neck pain.
OBJECTIVE: To establish whether there is evidence for or against the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of neck pain. METHODS: A systematic literature review was undertaken of studies that compared needle or laser acupuncture with a control procedure for the treatment of neck pain. Two reviewers independently extracted data concerning study methods, quality and outcome. RESULTS: Overall, the outcomes of 14 randomized controlled trials were equally balanced between positive and negative. Acupuncture was superior to waiting-list in one study, and either equal or superior to physiotherapy in three studies. Needle acupuncture was not superior to indistinguishable sham control in four out of five studies. Of the eight high-quality trials, five were negative. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the hypothesis that acupuncture is efficacious in the treatment of neck pain is not based on the available evidence from sound clinical trials. Further studies are justified. (+info)
Fish processing work: the impact of two sex dependent exposure profiles on musculoskeletal health.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of work tasks, physical exposure, and psychosocial factors on the risk of musculoskeletal disorders in men and women, in a defined industrial setting. METHODS: 116 male and 206 female fish industry workers were compared with 129 men and 208 women with more varied work. Physical and psychosocial work load as well as musculoskeletal complaints were recorded by a questionnaire. A physical examination was performed and an observation method was used for work evaluation. 196 male and 322 female former fish processing workers received a postal questionnaire. RESULTS: The women workers in the fish industry had worse working conditions than the men for repetitiveness, constrained neck postures, and psychosocial work environment. They also had higher prevalences of complaints of the neck and shoulder (prevalence odds ratio (POR) 1.9; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1 to 3.2), neck and shoulder and elbow and hand complaints (POR 2.9; 95% CI 1.8 to 4.7 and POR 2.8; 95% CI 1.6 to 4.7, respectively). The women more often than the men left the industry because of neck and upper limb complaints. Also, women in other work had a higher prevalence of complaints of the neck and shoulder (POR 2.3; 95% CI 1.1 to 5.1) than the men. The men in the fish processing industry had a higher prevalence of complaints of the neck and shoulder than the men in other work (POR 3.6; 95% CI 1.6 to 8.0). This difference was not shown up by the questionnaire. CONCLUSIONS: Despite superficially similar work, there were clear sex differences in physical exposure and psychosocial work environment. Work in the fish processing industry was associated with a high risk of neck and upper limb disorders in women, which was probably mainly due to their extremely repetitive work tasks; the corresponding men had less repetitive work and less disorders. Also, a healthy worker effect on neck and upper limb disorders was found. The advantage of a physical examination compared with a questionnaire is clearly shown. (+info)
Repeatability and validity of an upper limb and neck discomfort questionnaire: the utility of the standardized Nordic questionnaire.
The repeatability and validity of a questionnaire for upper limb and neck complaints were assessed in a population of 105 hospital outpatients with a range of upper limb and neck disorders (including cervical spondylosis, adhesive capsulitis, lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and Raynaud's phenomenon). Subjects were asked to complete a modified Nordic-style upper limb and neck discomfort questionnaire on two occasions closely spaced in time. The repeatability of their responses was assessed by calculating a kappa coefficient (kappa), and the sensitivity and specificity of component items in the questionnaire were determined for specific diagnostic categories of upper limb and neck disorder. Symptom reports for pain in the upper limb and neck, pain interfering with physical activities, neurological symptoms and blanching were all found to be highly repeatable (kappa = 0.63-0.90). A number of regional pain reports proved to be very sensitive in relation to specific upper limb disorders, but, with the exception of reported finger blanching in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon, none proved to have a good specificity (range = 0.33-0.38). We conclude that a modified Nordic-style questionnaire is repeatable and sensitive, and is likely to have a high utility in screening and surveillance. However a complementary examination schedule of adequate specificity and repeatability is essential to establish a clinical diagnosis. (+info)
Physical risk factors for neck pain.
To identify physical risk factors for neck pain, a systematic review of the literature was carried out. Based on methodological quality and study design, 4 levels of evidence were defined to establish the strength of evidence for the relationship between risk factors and neck pain. Altogether, 22 cross-sectional studies, 2 prospective cohort studies, and 1 case-referent study were eligible for determining the level of evidence. The results showed some evidence for a positive relationship between neck pain and the duration of sitting and twisting or bending of the trunk. A sensitivity analysis was carried out excluding 3 items of the quality list, the importance of which seemed doubtful. On the basis of this sensitivity analysis, it was concluded that there is some evidence for a positive relationship between neck pain and the following work-related risk factors: neck flexion, arm force, arm posture, duration of sitting, twisting or bending of the trunk, hand-arm vibration, and workplace design. (+info)