Table 2

Characteristics of different types of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain

VariableMSK pain
(N=184)
n (%)
Neck pain
(N=70)
n (%)
Shoulder pain
(N=68)
n (%)
Hand-wrist pain
(N=45)
n (%)
Back pain
(N=139)
n (%)
Duration
 <4 weeks159 (86.5)59 (84.3)63 (92.7)40 (88.6)112 (80.6)
 2–3 months17 (9.3)7 (10.0)3 (4.4)4 (9.1)19 (13.7)
 3–6 months5 (2.5)2 (2.9)2 (2.9)0 (0.0)6 (4.3)
 >6 months3 (1.6)2 (2.9)0 (0.0)1 (2.3)2 (1.4)
Frequency of pain attacks (times)
 <5138 (75)58 (82.9)51 (75.0)40 (88.9)74 (53.2)
 >546 (25)12 (17.1)17 (25.0)5 (11.1)65 (46.8)
Intensity of pain (scale of 1–10)
 Mild (1–3)52 (28.3)25 (35.7)17 (25.0)19 (42.2)14 (10.1)
 Moderate (4–7)118 (64.3)45 (64.3)50 (73.5)24 (53.3)92 (66.2)
 Severe (8–10)14 (7.4)0 (0.0)1 (1.5)2 (4.4)33 (23.8)
Sought medical attention7 (3.8)2 (2.9)2 (2.9)2 (4.4)7 (5)
Changed job3 (1.6)1 (1.4)1 (1.5)1 (2.2)2 (1.4)
Took sick leave in past 12 months22 (12)5 (7.3)11 (16)3 (6.7)25 (18)
Number of times taken sick leave
 0 times167 (90.9)65 (92.8)65 (95.6)42 (93.3)144 (82)
 1–5 times15 (8)5 (7.3)3 (4.4)3 (6.7)19 (13.7)
 >5 times2 (1.1)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)6 (4.3)