Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of workplace manual technique interventions for female participants on the degree of joint range of motion and on the level of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort experienced when performing workplace responsibilities.
Design: Nineteen (19) female volunteers were given chair massages on-site twice per week for 1 month.
Settings/location: Participants included individuals in administration and management from a company in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Subjects: A total of 19 female volunteers 40-54 years of age enrolled for this study. Fifteen (15) of them completed all measurements.
Interventions: The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire was used, and range-of-motion measurements in degrees were taken.
Outcome measures: Subjects completed a series of self-report questionnaires that asked for information concerning musculoskeletal discomfort for the neck, upper back, and lower back in the form of a body diagram. A range-of-motion test (to compare the change in joint angles) was performed with a goniometer to assess cervical lateral flexion, cervical flexion, cervical extension, lumbar flexion, and lumbar extension.
Results: Between the first and the last measurements, a significant difference (p<0.05) was found in increased range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (28.8%). Wilcoxon signed rank test showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (42.4±6.3 to 48.3±7.3), cervical extension (63.2±12.4 to 67.2±12.3), and a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.7±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.7 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 2 to 3. Significant reductions were also shown in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.8±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.8 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 1 to 3.
Conclusions: On-site massage sessions twice per week for 1 month are the most effective interventions (compared to one session or no massage intervention) for decreasing the duration of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort and for increasing range of motion.