Shoulder and neck complaints in customer relations: individual risk factors and perceived exposures at work.
ABSTRACT Perceived psychosocial and biomechanical exposures, individual factors and pain in the shoulder and neck were recorded in two groups of female service workers (healthcare and shopping centre workers). The jobs investigated were characterized by 'much' direct human relations, 'little' sitting and 'much' standing, and were light work by physiological or biomechanical criteria but potentially psychosocially demanding. A screening survey (n = 400 females) was the basis for the selected sample (n = 66 females), which was the object of the main investigation of this study. Reliability of the questionnaires was tested in a separate group of female healthcare workers (n = 29). Heart rate recordings through the work day estimated workload. There was a high prevalence of shoulder and neck pain (> 50%) for both work groups. In the two populations it proved difficult to explain shoulder and neck pain by reported physical and psychosocial exposures or individual factors, except by the variable 'perceived general tension', which clearly differentiated workers with and without pain. The findings in this study indicated, first, that perceived general tension might be an independent risk factor for muscle pain and, second, that this might be related to personality factors. However, this putative relationship must be verified in a longitudinal study. As no variable describing exposures in the working environment was associated with shoulder and neck pain, the question is posed whether such complaints can be considered work-related. Alternatively, the variables used to describe mechanical and psychosocial exposures in this study may have low specificity in characterizing work-related risk factors for service workers with customer relations.
- SourceAvailable from: nih.gov[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A registration system for symptoms of occupational musculoskeletal injuries has been developed and evaluated. The system is based on the recording of two aspects of the pain sensation: the intensity (five point scale) and the frequency (three point scale) of pain. The two primary indicators are summed to give a combined symptom score. The scoring system was evaluated in terms of its ability to predict the probability of a medical consultation due to a musculoskeletal pain problem. The intensity and frequency parameters were shown to contribute significantly and to carry equal weight when optimising the symptom score by a logistic regression analysis. In the scoring of pain symptoms a distinction was made between pain experienced during and outside working hours and only the first category was included. The separation eliminated some symptoms that the workers did not consider work related (mostly due to migraine, arthritis). Repeated interviews of 14 subjects showed, however, that this procedure could cause classification problems.British journal of industrial medicine 04/1992; 49(3):147-53.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Individual and work related risk factors in the development of occupational musculoskeletal complaints were studied in a group of 210 female production workers, mainly sewing machine operators. Another group of 35 female employees performing secretarial or laboratory duties were also included. The production workers had significantly higher symptom scores with respect to self reported musculoskeletal complaints than the group with more varied work tasks for the head, neck, shoulders, and arms, but not for the low back, hips, and the lower extremities. No significant differences were found in symptom level between geographically separate groups of production workers with similar work tasks. The main individual risk factor identified in this study was the experience of previous, similar symptoms in the same body region, but this factor only accounted for 2-3% of total variance in symptom score for the neck and shoulders. Other individual factors of importance for symptoms in the neck and shoulders were "signs of psychological problems" and "tendency of muscle tension," but these only account for about 1% of total variance in symptom score. Symptoms in the head and low back showed complex relations with individual parameters.British journal of industrial medicine 04/1992; 49(3):154-62.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A case-control designed was used to investigate associations and interactions between muscle activity measured by surface electromyography (EMG) in the upper trapezius muscle and subjectively reported risk factors in workers with and without shoulder and neck pain. EMG data were collected both in the workplace (indicating vocational muscle activity) and in a laboratory setting (indicating non-specific muscle activity). Women in manual (15 pairs) and office (24 pairs) work were included. The pairs were matched on age, gender and on current and historical work load, such as working hours, type and length of employment. Previous reports of this study have indicated that shoulder and neck myalgia was associated with increased muscle activity for the manual workers, and with psychological and psychosocial factors for the office workers. These risk factors were in the present report used as the basis for studying associations and interactions between muscle activity (1), psychological and psychosocial factors (2), and shoulder and neck pain (3). Subjectively reported or perceived general tension, a stress symptom presumed related to psychosocial and psychological factors, was previously found to be the strongest and only variable separating cases and controls in both work groups. In this paper, no relationship was found between perceived general tension and EMG variables for the office workers. For the manual workers a strong interaction was found; perceived general tension correlated positively with EMG variables for the controls, and negatively with EMG variables for the cases. It is hypothesised that the feeling of general tension represents a physiological activation response that may or may not include muscle fibre activation. This implies that pain provoked by psychosocial stress factors may not be mediated through increased muscle activity.Pain 03/1996; 64(2):221-30. · 5.64 Impact Factor