Article Text

Effect of specific resistance training on forearm pain and work disability in industrial technicians: cluster randomised controlled trial
  1. Lars L Andersen1,
  2. Markus D Jakobsen1,
  3. Mogens T Pedersen2,
  4. Ole S Mortensen3,
  5. Gisela Sjøgaard4,
  6. Mette K Zebis1,4
  1. 1National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Occupational Health, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lars L Andersen; lla{at}nrcwe.dk

Abstract

Objectives To determine the effect of specific resistance training on forearm pain and work disability in industrial technicians.

Design and setting Two-armed cluster randomised controlled trial of 20 weeks performed at two industrial production units in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Participants Working-age industrial technicians both with and without pain and disability.

Interventions The training group (n=282) performed specific resistance training for the shoulder, neck and arm muscles three times a week. The control group (n=255) was advised to continue normal physical activity.

Outcome All participants rated forearm pain intensity (Visual Analogue Scale, 0–100 mm) once a week (primary outcome) and replied to a questionnaire on work disability (Disability of the Arm Shoulder and Hand, 0–100) at baseline and follow-up (secondary outcome).

Results Questionnaires were sent to 854 workers of which 30 (n=282) and 27 (n=255) clusters were randomised to training and control, respectively. Of these, 211 and 237 participants, respectively, responded to the follow-up questionnaire. Intention-to-treat analyses including both individuals with and without pain showed that from baseline to follow-up, pain intensity and work disability decreased more in the training group than in the control group (4–5 on a scale of 0–100, p<0.01–0.001). Among those with pain >30 mm Visual Analogue Scale at baseline (n=54), the OR for complete recovery at follow-up in the training group compared with the control group was 4.6 (95% CI 1.2 to 17.9). Among those with work disability >30 at baseline (n=113), the OR for complete recovery at follow-up in the training group compared with the control group was 6.0 (95% CI 1.8 to 19.8).

Conclusion Specific resistance training of the shoulder, neck and arm reduces forearm pain and work disability among industrial technicians.

Trial registration number NCT01071980.

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Footnotes

  • To cite: Andersen LL, Jakobsen MD, Pedersen MT, et al. Effect of specific resistance training on forearm pain and work disability in industrial technicians: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000412. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000412

  • Contributors All authors contributed to conception/design, acquisition of data or analyses and interpretation of data. LLA drafted the article and all co-authors revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final version to be published. Thanks to statistician Ole Olsen for performing the randomisation of clusters.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Danish Working Environment Research Fund (Grant 8-2007-3). The contribution in terms of manpower allowing employees to train during work time for 1 h/week for 20 weeks was given by the workplaces involved.

  • Competing interests ICMJE conflicts of interest form for each author of this manuscript.

  • Ethics approval The ethics approval was approved by Local ethical committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Exploratory analyses from the study is under preparation by the research group. As such, the data set is not yet ready to be shared.

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