Journal of Rural Medicine
Online ISSN : 1880-4888
Print ISSN : 1880-487X
ISSN-L : 1880-487X
Review
Effect of non-surgical interventions on pain relief and symptom improvement in farmers with diseases of the musculoskeletal system or connective tissue: an exploratory systematic review based on randomized controlled trials
Hiroharu KamiokaHiroyasu OkuizumiShuichi HandaJun KitayuguchiReiko Machida
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS

2022 Volume 17 Issue 1 Pages 1-13

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Abstract

Objective: There are many observational and clinical studies on pain treatment in farmers; however, little is known about the effects of interventions based only on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on diseases of the musculoskeletal system or connective tissue (D-MSCT). This review aimed to summarize evidence on the effects of non-surgical interventions for pain relief and symptom improvement in farmers with D-MSCT.

Materials and Methods: We searched seven databases, including MEDLINE, and three clinical trial registries, including the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, from inception up to February 15, 2021, to identify studies that included at least one treatment group wherein nonsurgical interventions were applied. We focused on 1) pain relief and symptom improvement and 2) quality of life and improvement in physical fitness.

Results: Four studies (three on low back pain and one on knee osteoarthritis) met all the inclusion criteria. Overall, the risk of bias was high, and meta-analysis could not be performed due to heterogeneity. However, a participatory ergonomic approach, exercise centered on strength training with a transtheoretical model, and/or a combination of both could be included in effective educational programs, at least in the short term, to prevent and/or reduce exacerbation of D-MSCT in farmers. Based on internal and external validity, we could postulate a future research agenda and a conceptual education model to prevent D-MSCT in farmers.

Conclusion: Participatory ergonomic intervention, exercise centered on strength training, and/or a combination of both could be included for effective educational programs to prevent and reduce exacerbation of D-MSCT in farmers. High-quality RCTs with a less risk of bias will be implemented for many agricultural work types in various parts worldwide (especially developing countries and regions) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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© 2022 by THE JAPANESE ASSOCIATION OF RURAL MEDICINE
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