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Special Issue "Musculoskeletal Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
PhD, MSc(Appl Sc), BSc(PT) Grace Szeto

Professor & Physiotherapy Programme Leader, School of Medical & Health Sciences, Tung Wah Colleg, 31, Wylie Road, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +852-34686721
Interests: Office ergonomics; Work-related musculoskeletal disorders; Occupational health; Surface electromyography; Kinematics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Different kinds of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) have a serious impact on the health of the world’s population. As you are already aware, Lower Back Pain is the most commonly-reported musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), followed by neck pain, and together these two conditions are among the leading causes of activity limitation and compromised quality of life in people all around the world. They are also a major cause of work absenteeism and chronic disability. Despite the vast amount of research on the management of chronic non-specific or “mechanical” low back pain and neck pain, yet the etiology and pathomechanics of these disorders are still not fully understood.

Commonly known risk factors for MSD include posture, repetition, force and vibration. These factors are widely known to contribute to the problems of work-related MSD. However, people from all walks of life can experience MSD, especially nowadays, due to the increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and fascination with electronic gadgets such as smartphones and tablet computers. The problems of static posture, muscle tension, muscle fatigue, mental stress and poor fitness are all issues that require more in-depth investigations to understand their effects on MSD.

Another major area of interest is on the aging population, and how MSD affect their lives. With the rapidly advancing technology, the use of wearable sensors, robotics and assistive devices can make significant impact on people’s lives at home and in the community.

This Special Issue on “Musculoskeletal Disorders” aims to attract high-quality research papers on the etiology, assessment, treatment and health promotion strategies for MSD. Research studies on neck and back pain, as well as upper and lower limb MSD are all within the scope of this Special Issue. We hope to receive a wide range of submissions including research on the physical, psychosocial, environmental and occupational perspectives. Study design can include case-control, cohort studies, clinical trials and field research. Systematic reviews on important issues related to MSD are also welcome.

Dr. Grace Szeto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle
  • Joint
  • Function
  • Disability
  • Therapy
  • Assessment

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
High Body Mass Index Is Associated with the Extent of Muscle Damage after Eccentric Exercise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071378
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
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Abstract
Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of body mass index (BMI), which is an obesity index, on the change in the muscle damage index after eccentric exercise. Methods: Forty healthy male university students participated in this study and [...] Read more.
Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of body mass index (BMI), which is an obesity index, on the change in the muscle damage index after eccentric exercise. Methods: Forty healthy male university students participated in this study and were classified into normal (BMI 18.5–22.9 kg/m2, n = 20) and high BMI groups (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2, n = 20). For eccentric exercise, a modified preacher curl machine was used. Participants performed two exercise sets with 25 repetitions in each set. With regard to the muscle damage index, maximum strength, muscle soreness, and the creatine kinase (CK) level were measured. Results: Loss of maximum strength, muscle soreness, and the CK level were higher in the high BMI group than in the normal BMI group (p < 0.05, p < 0.05, and p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: In conclusion, BMI is one of the potential factors related to muscle damage after eccentric exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle
Within and between Individual Variability of Exposure to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051003
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial companies indicate a tendency to eliminate variations in operator strategies, particularly following implementation of the lean principle. Companies believe when the operators perform the same prescribed tasks, they have to execute them in the same manner (completing the same gestures and being [...] Read more.
Industrial companies indicate a tendency to eliminate variations in operator strategies, particularly following implementation of the lean principle. Companies believe when the operators perform the same prescribed tasks, they have to execute them in the same manner (completing the same gestures and being exposed to the same risk factors). They attempt to achieve better product quality by standardizing and reducing operational leeway. However, operators adjust and modify ways of performing tasks to balance between their abilities and the requirements of the job. This study aims to investigate the variability of exposure to physical risk factors within and between operators when executing the same prescribed tasks. The Ergonomic Standard method was used to evaluate two workstations. Seven operators were observed thirty times between repeated cycle times at those workstations. The results revealed the variability of exposure to risk factors between and within operators in the repeated execution of the same tasks. Individual characteristics and operators’ strategies might generate the variability of exposure to risk factors that may be an opportunity to reduce the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WR-MSDs). However, sometimes operators’ strategies may cause overexposure to risk factors; operators most often adopt such strategies to undertake their tasks while reducing the workload. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle
Activities of Daily Living and Determinant Factors among Older Adult Subjects with Lower Body Fracture after Discharge from Hospital: A Prospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051002
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fracture is a type of musculoskeletal injury that contributes to an inability to perform daily activities. The objective of this study was to evaluate activities of daily living (ADL) of older adult patients with lower body fracture and to determine factors influencing ADL. [...] Read more.
Fracture is a type of musculoskeletal injury that contributes to an inability to perform daily activities. The objective of this study was to evaluate activities of daily living (ADL) of older adult patients with lower body fracture and to determine factors influencing ADL. Patient’s ADL was assessed at pre-fracture, ward admission and post-discharge phases using the Katz ADL questionnaire. There were 129 subjects at pre-fracture and ward phases and 89 subjects at discharge phase. There were four independent variables; age, gender, type of fracture and ability to walk before fracture. Logistic regression models showed that ‘age’ and ‘ability to walk before fracture’ were the determinant factors of dependent for ‘bathing’, ‘dressing’ and ‘toileting’. The ‘ability to walk before fracture’ was the determinant factor of dependent for ‘transferring’. ‘Age’ and ‘gender’ were the determinant factors of dependent for ‘continence’, while ‘age’ was the determinant factor of dependent for ‘feeding’. The ADL score changes were significant across the phases with a reduction in ADL score in the ward admission phase and partial increment during the post-discharge phase. There were improvements in the health outcomes of subjects aged more than 50 years old after 3 months of being discharged from the hospital. In conclusion, age, being female, having a hip fracture and using a walking aid before fracture were the determinants identified in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Lumbopelvic Movement and Muscle Recruitment Associated with Prolonged Deep Squatting: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051001
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
This study examined the changes in spinal kinematics and muscle recruitment of the lumbopelvic region associated with prolonged squatting. Eight subjects with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP) and eight asymptomatic subjects (AS) performed squat-to-stand and reverse movements, before and immediately after 15 [...] Read more.
This study examined the changes in spinal kinematics and muscle recruitment of the lumbopelvic region associated with prolonged squatting. Eight subjects with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP) and eight asymptomatic subjects (AS) performed squat-to-stand and reverse movements, before and immediately after 15 min deep-squatting. Within-group and between-group differences in lumbopelvic kinematics and electromyographic activity acquired in lumbar erector spinae (ES), gluteus maximus (GM), and vastus lateralis (VL) were analyzed. During squat-to-stand after squatting, the LBP group showed slower then faster lumbar movement in the second and third quartiles, respectively. In the second quartile, the AS group moved with a significantly greater lumbar angle. However, significantly greater bilateral GM activity (+4–4.5%) was found in the LBP group only. A more profound decrease in bilateral ES activity (−10%) was also shown in the LBP group, yet this was nonsignificant compared to the AS group (−4%). In the third quartile, only the LBP group moved with a significantly greater lumbar angle, together with a significant increase in bilateral ES (+6–8%) and GM muscle (+2–3%) activity. The findings of the altered pattern of joint kinematics and recruitment of the key lumbopelvic muscles displayed in the LBP group inform on the possible mechanisms that may contribute to the increased risk of developing lumbar dysfunctions for people who work in prolonged squatting postures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle
The Status of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Its Influence on the Working Ability of Oil Workers in Xinjiang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050842
Received: 24 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and its influence on the working ability of oil workers, and to provide a theoretical basis for helping lessen the burden of MSDs and improve the man-machine environment of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and its influence on the working ability of oil workers, and to provide a theoretical basis for helping lessen the burden of MSDs and improve the man-machine environment of oil workers. The cluster sampling method was used to study 2000 workers who had been employed for more than 1 year in this field. We investigated the prevalence rate and the work ability index (WAI). A total of 1935 valid questionnaires were collected, a response rate of 96.75%. There were 1639 people who had suffered from MSDs in the past year, a prevalence rate of 84.7%. The damage detection rate in female oil workers was higher than in males, and the damage detection rate in workers aged 30 to 45 years was higher than that in the other two age groups. The detection rate in less highly-educated oil workers was higher than that in more highly-educated workers. The detection rate in divorced workers was higher than that in other groups. The detection rate in workers between the number of working years of 18 to 25 years was higher than in the other two groups. The detection rate in workers with a high professional title was significantly higher than that in lower-titled workers (p < 0.05). The results showed that the WAI scores of the subjects with MSDs were significantly lower than for subjects without MSDs (p < 0.05). In a logistic regression analysis, sex, number of working years and WAI index all had an impact on MSDs. We concluded that due to the demands of their role, the oil workers had serious MSDs that influenced their working ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle
Psychometric Evaluation of the Workstyle Short Form among Nursing Assistants with Work-Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040823
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Workstyle Short Form (24 items) (WSF-24) has been tested for its psychometric properties on work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (WRUEMSs) among office workers. However, the impact of workstyle should not only be limited to WRUEMSs and the sedentary workforce. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
The Workstyle Short Form (24 items) (WSF-24) has been tested for its psychometric properties on work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (WRUEMSs) among office workers. However, the impact of workstyle should not only be limited to WRUEMSs and the sedentary workforce. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the modified 24-item Chinese WSF (C-WSF-24) to identify work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) in various body parts among nursing assistants (NAs) working in nursing homes. Four hundred and thirty-nine NAs participated in the study. The results of the factor analysis were that a four-factor solution (working through pain, social reactivity at work, demands at work and breaks) accounted for 56.45% of the total variance. Furthermore, validation against known groups showed that the total score and subscale scores of the C-WSF-24 had the ability to discriminate between NAs with and without WRMSs in various body parts (such as low back and lower extremities). Additionally, C-WSF-24 had a statistically significant association with the contributing factors to WRMSs. This is the first study to examine the psychometric properties of the C-WSF-24 in the non-sedentary workforce, with a focus on various body parts of WRMSs. The results demonstrated that C-WSF-24 is reliable and valid for assessing WRMSs in various body parts among NAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Whole Body and Local Muscle Fatigue Using Electromyography and a Perceived Exertion Scale for Squat Lifting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040784
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9874 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research study aims at addressing the paradigm of whole body fatigue and local muscle fatigue detection for squat lifting. For this purpose, a comparison was made between perceived exertion with the heart rate and normalized mean power frequency (NMPF) of eight major [...] Read more.
This research study aims at addressing the paradigm of whole body fatigue and local muscle fatigue detection for squat lifting. For this purpose, a comparison was made between perceived exertion with the heart rate and normalized mean power frequency (NMPF) of eight major muscles. The sample consisted of 25 healthy males (age: 30 ± 2.2 years). Borg’s CR-10 scale was used for perceived exertion for two segments of the body (lower and upper) and the whole body. The lower extremity of the body was observed to be dominant compared to the upper and whole body in perceived response. First mode of principal component analysis (PCA) was obtained through the covariance matrix for the eight muscles for 25 subjects for NMPF of eight muscles. The diagonal entries in the covariance matrix were observed for each muscle. The muscle with the highest absolute magnitude was observed across all the 25 subjects. The medial deltoid and the rectus femoris muscles were observed to have the highest frequency for each PCA across 25 subjects. The rectus femoris, having the highest counts in all subjects, validated that the lower extremity dominates the sense of whole body fatigue during squat lifting. The findings revealed that it is significant to take into account the relation between perceived and measured effort that can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders in repetitive occupational tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Work-Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Nursing Assistants Working in Nursing Homes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020265
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) in different body parts for nursing assistants (NAs) working in nursing homes is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the extent of WRMSs in nursing assistants and the factors associated with them. [...] Read more.
The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) in different body parts for nursing assistants (NAs) working in nursing homes is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the extent of WRMSs in nursing assistants and the factors associated with them. Four hundred and forty NAs from 52 nursing homes, recruited by convenience sampling, participated in this cross-sectional study in 2014–2015. A valid and reliable study questionnaire was used to collect data. The results of our study found that 88.4% of NAs reported at least one body part with WRMSs. These NAs reported more symptoms in the shoulders than lower back. Adverse workstyle (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01–1.08) was the only factor associated with WRMSs after adjustment for potential confounders using multivariable logistic regression. This adverse workstyle could be developed because of physical and psychological work demands. Efforts should be directed at integrating “workstyle intervention” into lifestyle physical activity training to this group of healthcare workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Cumulative IT Use Is Associated with Psychosocial Stress Factors and Musculoskeletal Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121541
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to examine the relationship between cumulative use of electronic devices and musculoskeletal symptoms. Smartphones and tablet computers are very popular and people may own or operate several devices at the same time. High prevalence rates of musculoskeletal symptoms associated with [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the relationship between cumulative use of electronic devices and musculoskeletal symptoms. Smartphones and tablet computers are very popular and people may own or operate several devices at the same time. High prevalence rates of musculoskeletal symptoms associated with intensive computer use have been reported. However, research focusing on mobile devices is only just emerging in recent years. In this study, 285 persons participated including 140 males and 145 females (age range 18–50). The survey consisted of self-reported estimation of daily information technology (IT) exposure hours, tasks performed, psychosocial stress factors and relationship to musculoskeletal discomfort in the past 12 months. Total IT exposure time was an average of 7.38 h (±5.2) per day. The psychosocial factor of “working through pain” showed the most significant association with odds ratio (OR) ranging from 1.078 (95% CI = 1.021–1.138) for elbow discomfort, to 1.111 (95% CI = 1.046–1.180) for shoulder discomfort. Desktop time was also significantly associated with wrist/hand discomfort (OR = 1.103). These findings indicate only a modest relationship but one that is statistically significant with accounting for confounders. It is anticipated that prevalence rates of musculoskeletal disorders would rise in the future with increasing contribution due to psychosocial stress factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Knowledge, Belief and Practice Regarding Osteoporosis among Adolescents and Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081727
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Osteoporosis is a major public health problem affecting millions of people worldwide. Increasing knowledge, correcting health belief and promoting osteoprotective practices are effective measures for building and maintaining strong bone throughout ones’ life-span. This review aims to summarize the contemporary evidence on the [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis is a major public health problem affecting millions of people worldwide. Increasing knowledge, correcting health belief and promoting osteoprotective practices are effective measures for building and maintaining strong bone throughout ones’ life-span. This review aims to summarize the contemporary evidence on the knowledge, beliefs and practice of adolescents and young adults on bone health. We performed literature searches using the PubMed and Scopus databases to identify original studies from 2008 to May 2018 using the search terms “(knowledge OR beliefs OR attitude OR practice OR behaviours OR physical activity OR exercise OR diet OR nutrition) AND (young OR youth OR adolescents OR children OR young adults OR students OR teenager) AND (osteoporosis OR bone health)”. Of the 3206 articles found, 34 met the inclusion criteria. Studies showed that most adolescents and young adults had poor knowledge and expressed disinterest in osteoporosis. They believed that other diseases were more serious than osteoporosis, contributing to low perceived susceptibility and seriousness towards this disease. Popular media emerged as a platform to obtain information regarding osteoporosis. The lack of knowledge and misconceptions about osteoporosis led to poor osteoprotective practices. As a conclusion, the current evidence revealed a lack of awareness about osteoporosis among adolescents and young adults. Educational interventions may be useful to improve the awareness of osteoporosis among this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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