Neck and Back Pain In The Workforce

We see work related injuries every day in the clinic. An engineer sitting at the computer for 8 hours everyday comes in with neck pain and headaches, an electrician comes in with elbow pain from using a screwdriver repetitively, or a construction worker comes in with low back pain from lifting 2x4’s up three flights of stairs. Whatever job it may be, injuries in the workforce are hard to avoid. We’ve found that with a combination of the different therapies we utilize in our clinic we can not only treat acute or chronic pain, but we can help in preventing future episodes as well. Chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy including stretching and exercising all aim to correct mechanics, reducing the stress and strain on the body.

This study was designed to observe the changes in neck and back pain while performing a common task seen in those in the labor industry. They took 15 males, recorded pre-exercise visual analog scores, cervical range of motion, and cervical and lumbar flexion/relaxation ratios, then had them assemble pipe fittings on the floor or just below their knees for 10 minutes. They then measured again and compared before and after scores. The study found that pain scores increased, range of motion decreased, and flexibility decrease as well, all with only 10 minutes of bending over to work. Now imagine how that would compare to 8 hours a day of bending over working.

Changes in Neck and Back Pain, Cervical Range of Motion and Cervical and Lumbar Flexion-relaxation Ratios after Below-knee Assembly Work.

Shin SJ1, Yoo WG.


Objectives: This study examined the changes in neck and back pain visual analog scale (VAS) scores, cervical range of motion (CROM), cervical flexion?relaxation ratio (FRR) and lumbar FRR after below-knee assembly work. Methods: Fifteen young male workers were recruited. Neck and back pain VAS scores, active CROM and cervical and lumbar FRRs were measured in all subjects once before and once after 10 minutes of below-knee assembly work. Results: The VAS scores for both neck and back pain increased significantly with below-knee assembly work. The CROM for all measures decreased significantly with below-knee assembly work. Both the cervical and lumbar FRRs on the left and right sides decreased significantly with below-knee assembly work.


We postulate that 10 minutes of below-knee assembly work can increase neck and back pain and cause changes in the active CROM and cervical and lumbar FRRs. PubMed

Pak J Med Sci. 2013 Nov;29(6):1394-9.