Discrepancies in pain presentation caused by adverse psychosocial conditions as compared to pain due to high physical workload?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Disorders in the musculoskeletal system have been associated with a high physical workload as well as psychosocial and individual factors. It is however not obvious which of these factors that is most important to prevent. Musculoskeletal disorders in neck and upper extremity was assessed by interview and clinical examination in 79 teachers and 93 assisting nurses, all females. Psychosocial work environment was assessed by questionnaire. The physical workload was recorded by technical measurements of postures, movements and muscular load, in 9 teachers and 12 nurses. The physical workload was lower among the teachers, but they had a more demanding psychosocial work environment. Among the nurses, but not in the teachers, the neck-shoulder disorders were associated with a high body mass index (BMI). The teachers reported neck-shoulder complaints to a higher extent than the nurses, but had much lower prevalence of diagnoses in the clinical examination (12% vs. 25%; POR 0.3 CI 0.1 - 1.2; adjusted for age and BMI). The results suggest that adverse psychosocial conditions among the teachers give rise to a different kind of pain in the neck-shoulder region than from physical overload, troublesome but not as severe as the one afflicting the nurses.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • musculoskeletal disorders, clinical examination, technical measurements
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2472-2475
JournalWork: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch