Workplace Factors That Lead To Shoulder Pain

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By Michael Carroll

Studies are always trying to shed more and more light upon the question of joint pain, and the different contributing factors. In a recent article in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases by Bone and Tooper, looked at how prolonged exposure to repetitive activity at work contributes specifically to shoulder pain. In their study, they noted that population based studies suggest a lifetime prevalence of over 70 percent for neck and shoulder pain.

They found that shoulder pain was second only to back pain in workers’ compensation insurance claims. Their study also found that the risk of developing shoulder pain when starting a new job is related to the amount of over-the-head lifting and the monotonous nature of the work. They concluded that shoulder pain is a common problem among working age adults and is a large contributor to sick leave.

The study was able to identify some of the workplace factors that contribute to shoulder pain. The researchers were able to identify prolonged abnormal posture and repetition as significant contributors to shoulder pain. They also noted that more recent studies have considered the psycho-social influences such as monotony of work and the amount of stress might also contribute to shoulder pain.

In their conclusions, they call for more studies looking at psycho-social stressors as wells as repetative movement and how it can be modified in order to prevent further injuries to the shoulder in the workplace setting. Such a finding could greatly benefit the 70% of the population that suffers from some sort of work-induced joint pain.

Michael Carroll, MD is a board certified family physician with a special interest in sports medicine. He is the founding partner of Creekside Clinic, LLC, a progressive primary care center in Traverse City, Michigan and a member of both the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

He also holds special interest in shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries specifically with regard to cutting-edge treatments and is the author of a Shoulder Pain Talk.

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Pain Management as a Method of First Resort, Not Last

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By Leslie McKerns

In treating acute or chronic pain, it has long been accepted that physicians had two basic options to alleviate suffering: surgery or pain medication. Now there is a third option–pain alleviating, non-invasive pain management procedures used as the method of first resort, not last.

Creative, innovative solutions to previously persistent painful disorders are increasingly making surgery unnecessary. Pain management includes pain alleviating treatment for back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, work related injuries, cancer related pain, traumatic insult, Sciatica (compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve), Spinal Stenosis (build-up of bone in the spinal cavity), Spinal Cord Injuries, Post Stroke Pain, Shingles, Herniated Disks and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Pioneering pain management techniques performed by Board Certified Pain Management physicians include highly specific injection procedures eliminating pain at its source by isolating the nerve ending to the painful spot. The breakthrough process numbs or freezes the nerve and keeps it numb for up to a year. Benefits include avoiding costly major surgery, lengthy recovery times and the risks of infection or debilitating complications.

Who experiences pain?

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, pain affects 86 million Americans, causing losses to US business and industry of $90 billion. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old, and more than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 will have back pain during their lifetime. Many back pain problems occur following injury, strain and accidents causing fractures, lumbar muscle strains and ruptured/herniated discs.

Other causes of pain include degenerative changes caused by the normal aging process. The US Census bureau reported 78.2 million Baby Boomers in 2005, (nearly a quarter of the U.S. population). In 2006 there were 7,918 people turning 60 each day—representing 330 every hour. Baby Boomers are an active generation—working longer and playing harder than previous generations. Sports activities, repetitive stress and ambitious weekend projects account for painful conditions and injuries.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), osteoporosis is responsible for more than 300,000 bone fractures annually, costing the nation $17 billion. According to the NOF, osteoporosis affects 44 million American men and women age 50 and older, and one in two women and one in four men in this age group will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Recent advances in technology, new techniques and minimally invasive procedures in interventional pain medicine have eliminated many of the sources of pain, allowing patients to return to a normal level of activity.

What is the non-invasive nature of the treatment?

Over the last twenty years, many chemical and anatomic pain pathways have been identified and studied. The Board Certified pain medicine specialist often performs diagnostic injections, usually with enhanced fluoroscopic guidance. These injections isolate and confirm the source of the patient’s pain. Once identified, these painful structures are medically treated.

Medication can be injected at the exact site of the injury or compressive lesion. Epiduroscopy is the insertion of a fiber optic filament through a needle directly into the spine. This is connected to a television monitor to visualize the inside of the spinal canal, spinal cord and spinal nerves. This procedure has been effective in making accurate diagnosis, accomplishing precise injections, cutting of epidural adhesions and scar tissue and the removal of toxins liberated by injured discs.

Injured or painful facet joints can be injected with steroids. If long-term pain relief is not accomplished, these patients are often treated with Radiofrequency rhyzotomies. These Radiofrequency procedures numb the facet joints and eliminate the patient’s pain for approximately one year. These are outpatient or office procedures, which often provide immediate pain relief and allow the patient to return home after a 30-45 minute recovery period.

Discogenic pain due to injured and herniated discs is now being treated with new outpatient procedures called an IDET (Intradiscal Electrothermal Treatment) procedure and a Nucleoplasty. A special wire electrode is inserted through a needle into a disc and directed to the affected area of the disc herniation. Once in place, the electrode is heated with Radiofrequency or designed to create an electromagnetic field. This causes cauterization and vaporization of the disc, proliferation and tightening of the protein matrix of the disc, shrinking of small herniations and disc denervation or numbing. The final effect of this process is the relief of pain and the creation of more collagen within the disc.

Rather than simply administering pain medication, Board Certified Pain Management physicians diagnose the sources of pain and provide pain relief through these and other minimally invasive techniques.

Want to know more about Board Certified Pain Management physicians and minimally invasive treatment options? Visit:

Leslie McKerns of McKerns Development writes about issues in the professions.

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11 Ways To Prevent Upper Back Pain

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By Joshua Peruzzi

The stability of the upper back and limited movement in the thoracic spine make upper back pain less common than lower back pain. However, it can be debilitating when your upper back hurts. The common causes of this disorder are myofascial (muscular) pain and joint dysfunction.

You can prevent upper back pain by doing simple steps every day. These simple strategies require some adjustments in your day-to-day activities. A poor posture can weaken the muscles; strain your joints and ligaments. This will leave you with upper back pain. Primarily if you can maintain a good posture, you should be able to prevent your upper back from being injured.

You can follow 11 simple rules to prevent upper back pain

  1. If your job requires you to sit for a long time, make sure you take frequent breaks to stretch your back.
  2. If you are looking at documents, avoid looking upward, downward, or sideways which put a lot of strain on the upper back. Instead, hold the document and read in a way that you eye is parallel to the document.
  3. If you are using a computer keyboard, make sure that your arms are comfortable. Extending and raising your arms on the keyboard, which is placed too high can, strain the muscles of the upper back.
  4. As you are working on your desk, keep your arm close to your sides.
  5. When you lift heavy items, don’t twist your back.
  6. If you are breastfeeding, bring the baby close to your breast. Sit in an upright chair instead of a soft couch when you are nursing your child.
  7. Don’t slouch. Keep your body upright.
  8. Always warm up before exercise. Stretch your upper back so that your muscles do not become too tight during the workouts.
  9. Perform strengthening exercises for your upper back regularly.
  10. Avoid any activity that put repetitive stress on the upper back. If you can’t avoid it, wear protective supports and maintain good posture.
  11. If you are traveling in commercial vehicles, you may sit on a highly rounded seat. Use two pillows to support your back. Place one of them in the natural contour of your lower back. Place the other one in the gap left by the rounded seat behind your upper back. Make sure the pillows are placed in such a way that you can straighten up.

Are you having more upper back pain? Discover more tips on upper back pain treatment. Joshua Peruzzi writes for and if you want to learn more about back pain relief, then wait no more and proceed to his web site now.

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Sciatica Treatment – What’s The Fastest Sciatica Treatment Available Today?

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By Len McGrane

If you’re like me, you know about back pain. All about it! I don’t get it often, but when I do … boy do I know it’s there!

The most common cause of back pain in North American adults is sciatic pain. So in this article I want to tell you about sciatica, look at a possible cures for you, and make a personal recommendation.

OK … sciatica treatment. Let’s start with a quick description of the problem.

You have nerves running all through your body, which feed huge amounts of information to the brain and are absolutely critical to your functioning. Your biggest nerve is the sciatic nerve. It is attached to your lower spine, runs across your buttocks, then down your legs as far as your ankles.

When that nerve gets irritated or pinched or rubbed up the wrong way you feel pain. Although pain generally is notoriously hard to pinpoint, the pain from an upset sciatic nerve is usually felt in the lower back, or at the back of your leg above or below the knee.

At times it will be excruciating. (Do I sense you nodding in recognition?) Often it is dull and troublesome. It can be very, very persistent.

So, what can you do?

Normally, the first reaction is rest. And a couple of days of rest can be helpful. Surprisingly, however, resting for any longer only tends to make the pain worse. And none of us have that much free time anyway. So, rest is not the long-term answer.

There’s got to be another way. And there is; do more exercise!

Either do strength-building exercises, that will make your abdomen and back muscles stronger, and give better support to your lower back.

Or do stretching exercises. These will gently push and pull on tight, inflexible muscles that may be the source of the pain, and in a few days the pain will have gone. Keeping up stretching exercises will give you quicker recovery and work to help you get no future flare ups.

Or, equally effective, do light aerobic exercise. Things like walking and swimming. These sort of exercises will move fluids and elements around your body, building a better healing environment for you, and will also release your natural pain killers, the endorphins.

So, for some people, exercise and movement is going to help sometimes.

If that fails, over the long term, however, I recommend you look around for a well qualified doctor who is a sciatica specialist.the best specialist you can find. Don’t shop around for the cheapest deal. Ask questions until you find a good practitioner. Someone with years of experience treating sciatica, who is a surgeon and, if possible, teaches medicine at a school, would be ideal. Sciatica treatment is hard to get right, and unless you work hard to find a well-qualified specialist your treatments are likely to be short-lived.

Len McGrane writes on health in general and, most recentLen McGrane writes on health in general and, most recently, on sciatica treatment now to

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5 different symptoms of sciatica

5 Symptoms of Sciatica and How To Ease The Pain

By Susan Sarko

Sciatica is not a specific medical condition, rather a description of symptoms of related lower back causes. These can include herniated or bulging discs, etc. Sciatica pain is related to the sciatic nerve which runs from the back and down both legs. In fact, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. Any i-Irritation to the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. This can lead to pain and discomfort elsewhere in the body. Frequently, sciatica results in lower back pain, burning, tingling, numbness and pain in the legs and butt.

Sciatica symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain in the butt or back of your leg that often becomes worse when sitting
  • Tingling sensation and/or burning feeling down your legs
  • Numbness in the legs or feet
  • A persistent pain and/or discomfort in your butt, most often only one side
  • Experiencing shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand

Proper sitting posture plays an important role in keeping the symptoms associated with sciatica at bay. Try using a wedge designed seat cushion that tilts your pelvis slightly forward to help maintain your body’s natural lumbar curve. When sleeping, it’s important to remember to keep your body aligned properly. Specially designed leg pillows for side sleepers can help maintain good sleeping posture, reduce spinal twisting and keep pelvis stabilized. Back sleepers can take the pressure off of their lower spine by placing a pillow or wedge below their knees. Try to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and always exhibit good posture in everything that you do.

Specially designed products that can help you maintain proper posture throughout the day and night and help with sciatica pain, herniated discs and other lower back pain.

Learn more about sleeping with Sciatica here