OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of self-reported low back pain (LBP), and neck and/or shoulder pain (NSP) among secondary school teachers; and to evaluate the association of LBP and NSP with psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among teachers in the state of Penang, Malaysia. The participants were recruited via a two stage sampling method. Information on demographic, psychological distress, work-related psychosocial factors, and musculoskeletal pain (LBP and NSP) in the past 12 months was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Poisson regression was used to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) for the associations between psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors with LBP and NSP.
RESULTS: The prevalence of self-reported LBP and NSP among 1482 teachers in the past 12 months was 48.0% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 45.2%, 50.9%) and 60.1% (95% CI 57.4%, 62.9%) respectively. From the multivariate analysis, self-reported LBP was associated with teachers who reported severe to extremely severe depression (PR: 1.71, 95% CI 1.25, 2.32), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.46, 95% CI 1.22, 1.75), high psychological job demand (1.29, 95% CI 1.06, 1.57), low skill discretion (1.28, 95% CI 1.13, 1.47) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99). Self-reported NSP was associated with mild to moderate anxiety (1.18, 95% CI 1.06, 1.33), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.25, 95% CI 1.09, 1.43), low supervisory support (1.13, 95% CI 1.03, 1.25) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported LBP and NSP were common among secondary school teachers. Interventions targeting psychological distress and work-related psychosocial characteristics may reduce musculoskeletal pain among school teachers.
METHODS: Participants (N=142) in this randomized controlled trial were office workers aged 20-50 years old with neck, shoulders, and lower back pain. They were randomly assigned to either the ergonomic modification group, the exercise group, the combined exercise and ergonomic modification group, or the control group (no-treatment). The exercise training group performed a series of stretching exercises, while the ergonomic group received some modification in the working place. Outcome measures were assessed by the Cornell Musculoskeletal Disorders Questionnaire at baseline, after 2, 4, and 6 months of intervention.
RESULTS: There was significant differences in pain scores for neck (MD -10.55; 95%CI -14.36 to -6.74), right shoulder (MD -12.17; 95%CI -16.87 to -7.47), left shoulder (MD -11.1; 95%CI -15.1 to -7.09) and lower back (MD -7.8; 95%CI -11.08 to -4.53) between the exercise and control groups. Also, significant differences were seen in pain scores for neck (MD -9.99; 95%CI -13.63 to -6.36), right shoulder (MD -11.12; 95%CI -15.59 to -6.65), left shoulder (MD -10.67; 95%CI -14.49 to -6.85) and lower back (MD -6.87; 95%CI -10 to -3.74) between the combined exercise and ergonomic modification and control groups. The significant improvement from month 4 to 6, was only seen in exercise group (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: To have a long term effective on MSDs, physical therapists and occupational therapists should use stretching exercises in their treatment programs rather than solely rely on ergonomic modification.
CLINICAL TRIAL ID: NCT02874950 - https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02874950.
METHODS: A non-blinded, randomised controlled trial will be conducted. A total of sixty-six patients who fulfil the inclusion criteria will be recruited. The participants will be randomly allocated into intervention (traditional Malay massage) and control (relaxation position) groups. Blood and saliva samples will be collected before and immediately after intervention. All collected samples will be analysed. The primary outcomes are the changes in the level of substance P in both saliva and blood samples between both groups. The secondary outcomes include the levels of inflammatory mediators [i.e. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, IL-6 and IL-10, and the soluble form of the intercellular adhesion molecule], the pain intensity as measured by a visual analogous scale and functional outcomes using the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire.
DISCUSSION: Massage is a type of physical therapy that has been proven to be potentially capable of reducing unpleasant pain sensations by a complex sensory response and chemical mediators such as substance P and various inflammatory mediators. Previous studies conducted using Thai, Swedish, or other forms of massage therapies, have showed inconsistent findings on substance P levels pre and post the interventions. Each massage genre varies in terms of massage and joint mobilization points, as well as the lumbar spinous process. Traditional Malay massage, known locally as "Urut Melayu", involves soft-tissue manipulation of the whole body applied using the hands and fingers. This massage technique combines both deep muscular tissue massage and spiritual rituals. This trial is expected to give rise to new knowledge underlying the mechanisms for pain and inflammation relief that are activated by traditional Malay massage.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials ACTRN12615000537550 .
METHODS: A within-subject, repeated-measures, crossover randomized controlled design was conducted among 25 participants (7 males and 18 females) with chronic nonspecific low back pain. All the participants received 3 different types of experimental interventions, which included LPST, the passive automated cycling intervention, and the control intervention randomly, with 48 hours between the sessions. The pressure pain threshold (PPT), hot-cold pain threshold, and pain intensity were estimated before and after the interventions.
RESULTS: Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that LPST provided therapeutic effects as it improved the PPT beyond the placebo and control interventions (P < 0.01). The pain intensity under the LPST condition was significantly better than that under the passive automated cycling intervention and controlled intervention (P < 0.001). Heat pain threshold under the LPST condition also showed a significant trend of improvement beyond the control (P < 0.05), but no significant effects on cold pain threshold were evident.
CONCLUSIONS: Lumbopelvic stabilization training may provide therapeutic effects by inducing pain modulation through an improvement in the pain threshold and reduction in pain intensity. LPST may be considered as part of the management programs for treatment of chronic low back pain.