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Ergonomics. 1994 Jul;37(7):1253-60.

Work-related persistent neck impairment: a study on former steelworks grinders.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


The possibility of a work-acquired acceleration of the physiologic degenerative process affecting the cervical spine was studied in 15 Swedish former steelworks grinders. They were compared clinically with 15 age- and sex-matched white collar workers and radiographically compared with another reference group of matched individuals with light work. The now obsolete grinding machine placed extremely heavy load on the neck and shoulders, to the extent that all grinders had to retire after varying numbers of years and take a disability pension, or take up light work because of persistent pain and stiffness in the neck-shoulders; in this series after on average 8 (2-16) years. At follow-up 18 (11-29) years later, their mean age was 56 (48-62) years. All had persistent neck pain and stiffness and widespread paresthesia. Goniometric recordings showed impairment of active neck motion range as well as motion speed in all three planes and an altered motion pattern. Vibration sense was decreased in all extremities. Radiographically, foraminal encroachment was significantly increased both from spondylosis and spondylarthrosis, while disc height, lordosis, and alignment did not differ from that in the reference group of individuals with light work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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