Wincing while You Work
After a long day of repetitive work, you may experience pain in your neck and shoulder muscles. This pain can result from muscle and tissue overuse, or from psychological factors, such as low social support, job dissatisfaction, and low individual job control.
In a study published in the journal Spine, researchers evaluated risk factors for neck or shoulder pain and tenderness in over 3,000 workers at 19 production plants. Workers performing nonrepetitive tasks were used as a comparison group.
Almost twice as many workers performing repetitive work (7%) had neck or shoulder pain with muscle tenderness, compared to the comparison group (less than 4%). Pain was strongly linked to a decreased quality of life. Factors associated with neck or shoulder pain were previous injury, high repetitiveness, high force, female gender, and high job demands.
If your job involves repetitive or heavy work, you are especially susceptible to developing work-related neck or shoulder pain. Be sure to follow proper procedures to avoid injury, and talk to your chiropractor about what he or she can do to minimize the pain -- and the risk of developing it.
Andersen JH, Kaergaard A, Frost P, et al. Physical, psychosocial, and individual risk factors for neck/shoulder pain with pressure tenderness in the muscles among workers performing monotonous, repetitive work. Spine 2002:27(6), pp. 660-667.
To learn more about neck pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/neckpain.html.