Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(3):191-198    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.779

Effects of lifestyle intervention on neck, shoulder, elbow and wrist symptoms

by Mattila R, Malmivaara A, Kastarinen M, Kivelä S-L, Nissinen A

Objectives The objective of this study was to determine whether lifestyle intervention to control hypertension can affect neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist symptoms.

Methods In a randomized controlled trial, 731 employees from 45 worksites were assigned for 12 months to lifestyle intervention in a rehabilitation center or to usual care provided by occupational or primary health care services. The participants had a systolic blood pressure of 140-179 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure of 90-109 mm Hg, or antihypertensive drug treatment. In addition to the cardiovascular risk factors, the occurrences of neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist symptoms and disability during the previous 12 months were recorded before the intervention and 1 year later.

Results The reported disability due to neck pain during the previous 12 months fell significantly more (-7%) in the intervention group than in the group in usual care (-2%). The perceived shoulder pain during the previous 7 days also decreased significantly more in the intervention group than in the control group among the women (net change 16%) and among the participants who were more highly physically active (net change 10%). Weight, body mass index, and waist and hip circumferences decreased, and physical activity increased, substantiall y more in the intervention group. The changes in elbow or wrist pain and related disability did not differ significantly between the intervention and control groups.

Conclusions Lifestyle intervention to control hypertension has a favorable impact on perceived disability due to neck pain.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2000;26(1):7-19  2000;26(5):373-381