Exercise and musculoskeletal pain in healthcare workers
The authors of this study found that a workplace-based exercise program was more effective than a home-based program in reducing musculoskeletal pain levels for the shoulder, upper and lower back, hips, and feet.
Nevertheless, group-by-time interactions were only significant for the lower back and feet. Lower back pressure pain threshold (PPT) was higher after the workplace- than in the home-based exercise program.
Healthcare workers are known to have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain complaints due to the high physical demands of their occupation. These complaints present a significant professional and economic burden to healthcare systems.
However, previous studies have focused only on shoulder, neck, and lower back complaints, so less is known about complaints on other body regions. Thus, determining the cost-effectiveness of exercise performed on different settings on musculoskeletal pain in this population is important.
200 female participants were randomly allocated to a 10-week workplace or home exercise program. The participants reported pain intensity across multiple body regions at baseline and at 10-week follow-up. PPT was also measured in the upper back, lower back and shin.
Supervised workplace-based interventions, accompanied by motivational coaching sessions, produced a greater improvement in lower back PPT and lower back and foot musculoskeletal pain.
Healthcare stakeholders should consider these findings when trying to improve employees’ musculoskeletal health and well-being as workplace-based interventions show greater adherence and improved pain levels.
> From: Jakobsen et al., Musculoskelet Sci Pract 34 (2018) 89-96 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.