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Pressure pain thresholds and musculoskeletal morbidity in automobile manufacturing workers.

Authors
Gold-JE; Punnett-L; Katz-JN
Source
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2006 Feb; 79(2):128-134
NIOSHTIC No.
20030845
Abstract
Reduced pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) have been reported in occupational groups with symptoms of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSDs). The purpose of this study was to determine whether automobile manufacturing workers (n=460) with signs and symptoms of UEMSDs had reduced PPTs (greater sensitivity to pain through pressure applied to the skin) when compared with unaffected members of the cohort, which served as the reference group. The association of PPTs with symptom severity and localization of PE findings was investigated, as was the hypothesis that reduced thresholds would be found on the affected side in those with unilateral physical examination (PE) findings. PPTs were measured during the workday at 12 upper extremity sites. A PE for signs of UEMSDs and symptom questionnaire was administered. After comparison of potential covariates using t tests, linear regression multivariable models were constructed with the average of 12 sites (avgPPT) as the outcome. Subjects with PE findings and/or symptoms had a statistically significant lower avgPPT than non-cases. AvgPPT was reduced in those with more widespread PE findings and in those with greater symptom severity (test for trend, P < / = 0.05). No difference between side-specific avgPPT was found in those with unilateral PE findings. Reduced PPTs were associated with female gender, increasing age, and grip strength below the gender-adjusted mean. After adjusting for the above confounders, avgPPT was associated with muscle/tendon PE findings and symptom severity in multivariable models. PPTs were associated with signs and symptoms of UEMSDs, after adjusting for gender, age and grip strength. The utility of this noninvasive testing modality should be assessed on the basis of prospective large cohort studies to determine if low PPTs are predictive of UEMSDs in asymptomatic individuals or of progression and spread of UEMSDs from localized to more diffuse disorders.
Keywords
Morbidity-rates; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Workers; Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Automotive-industry; Occupational-diseases; Diseases; Quantitative-analysis; Statistical-analysis
Contact
Department of Public Health, Temple University, 3rd floor, Vivacqua Hall, 1700 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
CODEN
IAEHDW
Publication Date
20060201
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Judith_Gold@temple.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003514
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0340-0131
Source Name
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
State
PA; MA
Performing Organization
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
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