Impact of Stress, Obesity and Ergonomics on Chronic Pain
I. Stress (e.g., psychosocial factors) increases the risk of chronic pain
A cohort study by Macfarlane et al concluded psychosocial factors may be as important as biomechanical dysfunctions in determining the onset of chronic pain symptoms.
Spies-Dorgelo et al when evaluating the severity of wrist and hand symptoms concluded that the severity of symptoms appear to be associated not only with physical factors, but also with psychosocial and socio-demographic factors.
Cole et al concluded that the stress of low social support at work and high job insecurity were independent predictors of restricted activity due to musculoskeletal disorders
In a study involving 20,386 female and 4,764 Finnish public sector employees, Laine et al found that job stress is associated with the risk of disability pension.
II. Obesity increases the risk of chronic pain
This large population-based study indicates that obesity is associated with a high prevalence of low back pain
Results of this study involving nearly 30,000 Norwegian men and women indicated that obesity increased the risk of chronic pain by 20 percent, while moderate exercise (1 - 2 hours/week) reduced the same in both men and women.
III. Poor Ergonomics increases the risk of chronic pain
The results suggest that cumulative occupational exposure to lifting or carrying and extreme forward bending increases the risk for developing symptomatic osteochondrosis or spondylosis of the lumbar spine.
My research (statistical analysis on five years of subjective pain and outcome profiles) suggest that in the presence of one or more of the above contriubuting factors, chronic subjective musculoskeletal pain ratings can be increased by a factor of 0.25 (x+0.25x) to 0.50 (x+0.50x).