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Workers with occupational pain 

Workers with occupational pain
Chapter:
Workers with occupational pain
Author(s):

Jos Verbeek

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198828273.003.0007
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date: 30 March 2020

Occupational pain is pain caused by occupational activities. Most pain that is labelled occupational originates in the musculoskeletal system, for instance occupational back pain and upper limb pain. The additional diagnosis ‘occupational’ is important for treatment, prevention, and compensation. Workplace interventions such as ergonomic improvements can resolve pain or prevent pain in workers. However, studies of prevention of back pain and prevention of upper limb pain do not show major effects. Changes in working life such as the advent of computers have led to an increase in occupational pain. Preventive ergonomic improvements probably have effectively reduced these increases since then. Better evaluation of ergonomic intervention as part of treatment is needed. For prevention, studies with large numbers of participants are needed. Regulation should be more flexible and be adaptive to progress in science.

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