October/November 2012 (vol. 09/3)

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Research Plus

Neck pain

A systematic review of 21 longitudinal studies (19 of high quality) finds strong evidence for an association between neck and shoulder complaints with manual material handling, trunk flexion or rotation, repetitive movement, working in awkward or static postures, and working with the hands above the shoulders. There was also strong evidence for an association between shoulder complaints and exposure to vibration at work. There was insufficient evidence for an association between neck and/or shoulder disorders with seated work, or with working with a flexed or rotated neck. The review is unique because of its focus exclusively on longitudinal prospective studies – cross-sectional and case–control studies were excluded – with the intention of highlighting possible cause-and-effect relationships.


International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2012; 85: 587–603. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00420-011-0701-0

Occupational Health at Work October/November 2012 (vol. 09/3) pp41