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Ergonomics: Health Concerns for Healthcare Workers

Question

Have there been any studies conducted to confirm whether continued unsafe lift practices and continued strain on the lower back and neck account for frequent and re-occurring migraines in healthcare workers?

DeNae Drews
Ogallala Community Hospital


Answer

Dear DeNae:

We are unable to locate any evidence based studies that directly link lower back and neck strain with frequent or re-occurring migraine headaches in healthcare workers. However, most of the definitive studies on migraines cite some degree of causation by stress (mental or physical). One might deduce (however indirectly), that continued unsafe lifting practices and strain on the lower back and neck might cause physical or emotional distress and thereby trigger a migraine attack. Note: the most frequently cited contributing factors linked to migraines are 1) Sleep Disturbances (irregular sleep patterns, too much or too little sleep), and 2) Emotional factors (excitement, anger, fear, anxiety, stress or letdown).

Good luck,
The Lift Doctor*