Stretching to Reduce Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review
Methods: Nine databases were reviewed to identify studies exploring the effectiveness of stretching to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Included studies were reviewed and their methodological quality was assessed using the PEDro scale.
Results: The physiological effects of stretches may contribute to reducing discomfort and pain. However, if other measures are not in place to remediate their causes, stretches may suppress awareness of risks, resulting in more debilitating injuries. If inadequately performed, stretches may also cause or aggravate injuries. Careful analysis and stretching program design are required before implementing stretches. Seven studies evaluating the effectiveness of stretching to prevent musculoskeletal disorders in different occupations were identified and reviewed.
Conclusion: The studies provided mixed findings, but demonstrated some beneficial effect of stretching in preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. However, due to the relatively low methodological quality of the studies available in the literature, future studies are necessary for a definite response. Future studies should minimize threats to internal and external validity, have control groups, use appropriate follow-up periods, and present a more detailed description of the interventions and worker population.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2008
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.
Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.
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