Title

Intraoperative stretching microbreaks reduce surgery-related musculoskeletal pain in otolaryngologists

Authors

Amir Elzomor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA. Electronic address: aelzomor@gwu.edu.
Alexandra Tunkel, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Esther Lee, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Farris Jaamour, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Lauren Davidson, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Timothy Brandon Shaver, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Weston Niermeyer, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Daniel Benito, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Keith Cole, Department of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitation Sciences, The George Washington University School of Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Philip Zapanta, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA; Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Sovah Health, Danville, VA, USA.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

8-13-2022

Journal

American journal of otolaryngology

Volume

43

Issue

6

DOI

10.1016/j.amjoto.2022.103594

Keywords

Ergonomics; Intraoperative pain; Microbreaks; Otolaryngology; Surgeons

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the role intraoperative otolaryngology stretching microbreak (OSMB) has on musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and discomfort in otolaryngologists. BACKGROUND: Otolaryngology procedures subject surgeons to significant amounts of pain and strain over their years of training. MSK pain is a serious concern for otolaryngologists' career longevity as well as their general wellbeing. METHODS: Participants from two different hospitals and one private practice were recruited to participate in this study. An initial ergonomic survey was obtained to assess baseline MSK pain, and its subjective impact on operative performance. The participants then completed three control days without OSMB exercises, followed by three intervention days with OSMB exercises which were completed at 20-40 minute intervals. Preoperative and postoperative pain rating surveys were completed before and after each procedure and at the end of the day to determine changes in pain and/or discomfort. RESULTS: Ten otolaryngologists (50 % men, 50 % women; mean age 35.6 years) participated in this study. Half of the participants indicated that they were concerned their pain would limit their ability to operate in the future. 70 % of participants indicated that they have not attempted to treat this pain and 60 % did not try any stretching exercises outside the operating room (OR) to mitigate their symptoms. Participants reported neck, upper back, and lower back to be the primary MSK discomfort. OSMB improved participants' pain scores in neck, shoulders, hands, and lower back pain (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: MSK pain has shown to be a serious concern for the ability of otolaryngologists to continue performing surgery in the future. OSMB may be an effective strategy that can be implemented by otolaryngologists intraoperatively to improve MSK pain and overall well being.

Department

Surgery

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