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The most recent Cochrane review of randomized control trials (RCT) involving relief of low back pain using massage was published in 2015. The review examined 25 RCT and found that massage was better than inactivity in the short term for pain relief. They also found that massage was better than active controls in the short and long term for pain relief. Read the full review at the link below.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub3/epdf
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Musculoskeletal disorders in the form of overexertion caused sprain and strain injuries along with repetitive motion injuries were responsible for costing employers over $16 billion in 2013 and accounted for 27% of all reported injuries. Some of the most common MSDs include:

  • Epicondylitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Low Back Pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Muscle Strain
  • Plantar fasciitis

These disorders typically occur over a period of time and may have some noticeable signs and symptoms before they progress to a chronic condition. The typical progression may include the following steps:

  • Exposure to risk factor (overexertion/repetitive motion)
  • Fatigue of the exposed anatomy and limited recovery time
  • Soft tissues reach the limit of sustaining the outside forces
  • Ache or discomfort progresses to a chronic condition

Prevention and early recognition, and quick, appropriate intervention can stop the progression of these disorders to costly conditions. Some steps to take include:

  • Adjust the job to the worker
  • Decrease common motions known to cause injury
  • Educate employees how to recognize MSDs
  • Implement an on-site solution for addressing early signs of MSDs

Click the link to read an interesting NIOSH science blog post regarding carpal tunnel syndrome among poultry workers.

 

Warming up before activity is important, especially for those performing strenuous or repetitive jobs.

We have all heard about stretching before or after activity, or as a way to break up repetitive tasks, but should we warm-up? Warming up has been shown to be effective in helping reduce overexertion which can cause sprains and strains of the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Warming up does this by: Read more

Sprains and strains are injuries to tissue typically attributed to overexertion or traumatic type injuries. The names differ due to the type of tissue involved in the injury.

A sprain is an injury involving a ligament. Ligaments are tough connective tissue bands that connect bone to bone. These tissues hold the joints together throughout the body. The most common, and the one people are most familiar with is an ankle sprain.

A strain is an injury involving the muscle or tendon. The muscle is the contractile portion responsible for creating motion. The tendon is the terminal fibrous component of the muscle, which attaches it to the bone. Most commonly and familiar is a strain of the low back. Read more