Research Highlights

Research Highlights is an easy-to-read, lay-audience summary of a study led by a scientist from the Institute for Work & Health (or includes an Institute scientist on its research team) that has been published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. Each research summary explains why the study was done, how it was done, what the researchers found and the implications of the study, where applicable. 

High nerve injury pain predicts upper extremity disability

Patients who seek medical help at least six months after an upper extremity nerve injury also report a considerable level of disability that is associated, in part, with chronic pain.
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Heavy workloads linked to mental health, MSD treatment in health-care workers

What worker or workplace factors are linked to musculoskeletal or mental health problems among nurses and support staff? This study of 21,000 health-care workers points to heavy workloads among the most important factors.
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Five non-surgical neck pain treatments work equally well

A study of five non-surgical treatments for neck pain — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Cox-2 inhibiting NSAIDs, exercise, mobilization, and manipulation — found no one treatment option for neck pain was found to be clearly superior when both benefits and harms were considered.
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For many workers, neck pain lasts at least a year

Neck pain is a persistent and recurring problem in workers. About 60 per cent of workers who experienced neck pain reported having it one year later.
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OHS risks in social service organizations

Working in a not-for-profit social service organization can be rewarding, but the job can come with health risks. However, a study finds the organization's mission can be a powerful concept in non-profit organizations, resulting in workers putting their clients’ well-being before their own.
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First return to work after injury doesn't always mean full recovery

Even after they first return to work, people with MSDs may still experience pain, depressive symptoms and work limitations, according to a study on recurring absences.
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Long-term health effects seen in injured youth

Workers aged 15 to 24 with a compensation claim, when cto their peers without a claim, have higher levels of health-care use, both before and after their injury. That's especially true for young women with claims.
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Neck pain patients can be triaged into four groups

Clinicians who assess patients with neck pain should triage them into one of the four categories or grades to determine the need for further diagnosis or treatment.
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Chiropractic schools teach evidence-based X-ray use

The use of X-rays by chiropractors, especially for low-back pain, has long been controversial. According to this study, instruction at most chiropractic schools seems to be following evidence-based guidelines on the use of X-rays for managing many aspects of low-back pain.
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Neck pain common among adults, review shows

The first review summarizing studies about the impact and causes of neck pain in the general population finds it a common condition. Risk factors include age, gender and genetics, as well as smoking, exposure to tobacco, and psychological health.
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Temp workers have similar work-related sick days as permanent workers

Temporary work does not appear to increase the rate of work-related injury or illness absences lasting a week or longer. What's more, those with multiple temporary jobs had fewer absence spells.
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When a “hurt” becomes a “harm” in return to work

Early return-to-work policy in many jurisdictions is underpinned by the "hurt" versus "harm" concept — that the pain a worker experiences after an injury does not cause harm or inhibit recovery. But there are situations in which this concept does not apply.
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Laser therapy evidence unclear for low-back pain

There is not enough evidence to confirm or refute that low-level laser therapy is beneficial in treating patients with non-specific low-back pain, according to a systematic review.
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Low job control has negative effect on health

People with less say about how they do their work—that is, with low job control—are more likely to have poorer health. According to this study on the influence of job control versus other related factors, certain combinations of factors have cumulative effects on workers' health.
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Preteens, young teens are working and getting injured

Despite a lack of official data on the labour force participation of pre-teens and young teens, 12- to 14-year-olds are working and getting exposed to the same OHS risks as other workers, according to a study conducted in Ontario and B.C.
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For many, whiplash recovery is prolonged

Nearly half of those diagnosed with whiplash-associated disorders reported neck pain symptoms one year after their injury. Those with more severe initial symptoms faced even slower recovery, according to a study.
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Which factors put workers at risk for neck pain?

Neck pain in workers results from a number of individual and workplace factors. This review examines the role of age, physical fitness, work demands, job insecurity, among others.
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Young workers out of school, with no diploma, more likely to be injured

Young workers who are not in school have higher injury rates, suggesting that additional workplace training programs may be needed outside of the formal school system to reach more at-risk young workers.
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