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December/January 2019/2020 (vol. 16/4)
Activity not rest for regional arm pain
New research suggests that non-specific arm pain should be managed in a similar way to low back pain: patients should remain active rather than rest. On behalf of the Arm pain trial team, Kim Burton, Karen Walker-Bone and Gareth T Jones summarise the findings and explain their significance for the management of work-related upper limb disorders.
Arm pain, whether non-specific (‘regional’) or due to specific diagnoses, is highly prevalent among the working-age population: the annual prevalence of pain lasting more than one day is around 50%. Arm pain is frequently work-relevant, with some four million working days lost annually to ‘work-related upper limb disorders’. Furthermore, of those consulting with distal arm pain (affecting the elbow, forearm, wrist and/or hand) 50% still report pain a year later, with a substantial minority experiencing persistent symptoms and/or disability1. . This prolongation of symptoms and disability is in fact similar to the epidemiology of non-specific low back pain…
Author: Burton K, Walker-Bone K, Jones G
Occupational Health at Work December/January 2019/2020 (vol. 16/4) pp16-18