Imbalance between select, regional physical capabilities and select, regional work physical demands was associated with localized pain in a prospective cohort study of over 1200 workers. Low endurance capability of low back extensor muscle isometric contraction was predictive of low back pain among workers who had high duration of working with the trunk flexed 30 degrees or more. Neck pain was related to workers who had low endurance capability of neck extensor muscle isometric contraction and high duration of working with the neck flexed 20 degrees or more.
Authors Hamberg-van Reenen et al. also found a relationship between local pain and those classified as having low balance (low physical capability coupled with low physical demand of a region). Low back pain was associated with those who had low endurance capability of low back extensor muscle isometric contraction and had low duration exposure to working with the trunk flexed 30 degrees or more. Reduced isokinetic lifting strength from the waist to the shoulder was predictive of neck pain among those who did not have to often lift 10 kg or more. Findings suggest that a low balance combination may be a higher risk condition than a high balance combination.
At baseline, workers were assessed for:
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2006-09-26.