Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members

Mike Murray, Britt Lange, Bo Riebling Nørnberg, Karen Søgaard, Gisela Sjøgaard

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members

Murray M, 1, Lange B, 1,2, Nørnberg R. B, 3, Søgaard K, 1, Sjøgaard G, 1

1Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
2Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
3Royal Danish Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Denmark (TACDEN)


Introduction: Flight-related neck pain is common among helicopter pilots and crew (1). The aim of this study was to quantify the physical workload on neck/shoulder muscles during flight, and design an exercise training program aiming at prevention and treatment of neck pain.

Methods: 9 pilots and 9 crew members participated in 9 standardized flight sorties encompassing: Patient-transport (PT), Patient-transport with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) (PT+NVG), and Search And Rescue with NVG (SAR+NVG). Electromyography (EMG) was conducted for: trapezius m. (TRA), upper neck extensors (UNE) and sternocleido-mastoid m. (SCM). EMG was normalized to Maximal Voluntary Contractions (MVC).

Results: EMG in UNE (%MVC) was in general significantly higher than TRA and SCM, and significantly higher during SAR+NVG (pilots: 2.9±1.7 (TRA), 12.7±5.2 (UNE), 4.3±2.9 (SCM); crew members: 4.1±3.8 (TRA), 10.5±2.4 (UNE), 2.4±1.5 (SCM)) compared to PT or PT+NVG. Exercises were based on EMG and experience regarding targeted neck training for fighter pilots and included progressive/undulating strength-endurance and coordination exercises targeting deep/superficial neck muscles (2). TheraBand® elastics as well as video instructions and training diaries were used.

Discussion: Muscle activity was ~10% MVC in UNE and such sustained activity implies a high risk for developing disorders (3). An ongoing randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the training exercises in reducing neck pain.

References:

1. Ang B, Harms-Ringdahl K. Neck pain and related disability in helicopter pilots: A survey of prevalence and risk factors. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 2006;77(7):713-719

2. Lange B, Toft P, Myburgh C, Sjøgaard G. Effect of targeted strength, endurance, and coordination exercise on neck and shoulder pain among fighter pilots. A randomized-controlled trial. Clin J Pain 2013; 29:50-9

3. G. Sjøgaard and B. R. Jensen. Low-Level Static Exertions, The Occupational ergonomics handbook, edited by Waldemar Krawowski and William S. Marras, 1999 by CRC Press 11.C, 2006, section 13.1, page. 247.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date10. Mar 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10. Mar 2014
Event“Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course - Ramstein, Germany
Duration: 10. Mar 201415. Mar 2014

Conference

Conference“Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course
CountryGermany
CityRamstein
Period10/03/201415/03/2014

Cite this

Murray, M., Lange, B., Riebling Nørnberg, B., Søgaard, K., & Sjøgaard, G. (2014). Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members. Abstract from “Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course, Ramstein, Germany.
Murray, Mike ; Lange, Britt ; Riebling Nørnberg, Bo ; Søgaard, Karen ; Sjøgaard, Gisela. / Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members. Abstract from “Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course, Ramstein, Germany.1 p.
@conference{bdba5821720243818346175862545e6e,
title = "Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members",
abstract = "Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members Murray M, 1, Lange B, 1,2, N{\o}rnberg R. B, 3, S{\o}gaard K, 1, Sj{\o}gaard G, 11Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark2Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark3Royal Danish Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Denmark (TACDEN)Introduction: Flight-related neck pain is common among helicopter pilots and crew (1). The aim of this study was to quantify the physical workload on neck/shoulder muscles during flight, and design an exercise training program aiming at prevention and treatment of neck pain. Methods: 9 pilots and 9 crew members participated in 9 standardized flight sorties encompassing: Patient-transport (PT), Patient-transport with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) (PT+NVG), and Search And Rescue with NVG (SAR+NVG). Electromyography (EMG) was conducted for: trapezius m. (TRA), upper neck extensors (UNE) and sternocleido-mastoid m. (SCM). EMG was normalized to Maximal Voluntary Contractions (MVC). Results: EMG in UNE ({\%}MVC) was in general significantly higher than TRA and SCM, and significantly higher during SAR+NVG (pilots: 2.9±1.7 (TRA), 12.7±5.2 (UNE), 4.3±2.9 (SCM); crew members: 4.1±3.8 (TRA), 10.5±2.4 (UNE), 2.4±1.5 (SCM)) compared to PT or PT+NVG. Exercises were based on EMG and experience regarding targeted neck training for fighter pilots and included progressive/undulating strength-endurance and coordination exercises targeting deep/superficial neck muscles (2). TheraBand{\circledR} elastics as well as video instructions and training diaries were used. Discussion: Muscle activity was ~10{\%} MVC in UNE and such sustained activity implies a high risk for developing disorders (3). An ongoing randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the training exercises in reducing neck pain. References:1. Ang B, Harms-Ringdahl K. Neck pain and related disability in helicopter pilots: A survey of prevalence and risk factors. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 2006;77(7):713-7192. Lange B, Toft P, Myburgh C, Sj{\o}gaard G. Effect of targeted strength, endurance, and coordination exercise on neck and shoulder pain among fighter pilots. A randomized-controlled trial. Clin J Pain 2013; 29:50-93. G. Sj{\o}gaard and B. R. Jensen. Low-Level Static Exertions, The Occupational ergonomics handbook, edited by Waldemar Krawowski and William S. Marras, 1999 by CRC Press 11.C, 2006, section 13.1, page. 247.",
author = "Mike Murray and Britt Lange and {Riebling N{\o}rnberg}, Bo and Karen S{\o}gaard and Gisela Sj{\o}gaard",
year = "2014",
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day = "10",
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note = "null ; Conference date: 10-03-2014 Through 15-03-2014",

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Murray, M, Lange, B, Riebling Nørnberg, B, Søgaard, K & Sjøgaard, G 2014, 'Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members', “Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course, Ramstein, Germany, 10/03/2014 - 15/03/2014.

Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members. / Murray, Mike; Lange, Britt; Riebling Nørnberg, Bo; Søgaard, Karen; Sjøgaard, Gisela.

2014. Abstract from “Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course, Ramstein, Germany.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

TY - ABST

T1 - Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members

AU - Murray, Mike

AU - Lange, Britt

AU - Riebling Nørnberg, Bo

AU - Søgaard, Karen

AU - Sjøgaard, Gisela

PY - 2014/3/10

Y1 - 2014/3/10

N2 - Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members Murray M, 1, Lange B, 1,2, Nørnberg R. B, 3, Søgaard K, 1, Sjøgaard G, 11Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark2Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark3Royal Danish Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Denmark (TACDEN)Introduction: Flight-related neck pain is common among helicopter pilots and crew (1). The aim of this study was to quantify the physical workload on neck/shoulder muscles during flight, and design an exercise training program aiming at prevention and treatment of neck pain. Methods: 9 pilots and 9 crew members participated in 9 standardized flight sorties encompassing: Patient-transport (PT), Patient-transport with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) (PT+NVG), and Search And Rescue with NVG (SAR+NVG). Electromyography (EMG) was conducted for: trapezius m. (TRA), upper neck extensors (UNE) and sternocleido-mastoid m. (SCM). EMG was normalized to Maximal Voluntary Contractions (MVC). Results: EMG in UNE (%MVC) was in general significantly higher than TRA and SCM, and significantly higher during SAR+NVG (pilots: 2.9±1.7 (TRA), 12.7±5.2 (UNE), 4.3±2.9 (SCM); crew members: 4.1±3.8 (TRA), 10.5±2.4 (UNE), 2.4±1.5 (SCM)) compared to PT or PT+NVG. Exercises were based on EMG and experience regarding targeted neck training for fighter pilots and included progressive/undulating strength-endurance and coordination exercises targeting deep/superficial neck muscles (2). TheraBand® elastics as well as video instructions and training diaries were used. Discussion: Muscle activity was ~10% MVC in UNE and such sustained activity implies a high risk for developing disorders (3). An ongoing randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the training exercises in reducing neck pain. References:1. Ang B, Harms-Ringdahl K. Neck pain and related disability in helicopter pilots: A survey of prevalence and risk factors. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 2006;77(7):713-7192. Lange B, Toft P, Myburgh C, Sjøgaard G. Effect of targeted strength, endurance, and coordination exercise on neck and shoulder pain among fighter pilots. A randomized-controlled trial. Clin J Pain 2013; 29:50-93. G. Sjøgaard and B. R. Jensen. Low-Level Static Exertions, The Occupational ergonomics handbook, edited by Waldemar Krawowski and William S. Marras, 1999 by CRC Press 11.C, 2006, section 13.1, page. 247.

AB - Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members Murray M, 1, Lange B, 1,2, Nørnberg R. B, 3, Søgaard K, 1, Sjøgaard G, 11Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark2Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark3Royal Danish Air Force, Tactical Air Command, Denmark (TACDEN)Introduction: Flight-related neck pain is common among helicopter pilots and crew (1). The aim of this study was to quantify the physical workload on neck/shoulder muscles during flight, and design an exercise training program aiming at prevention and treatment of neck pain. Methods: 9 pilots and 9 crew members participated in 9 standardized flight sorties encompassing: Patient-transport (PT), Patient-transport with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) (PT+NVG), and Search And Rescue with NVG (SAR+NVG). Electromyography (EMG) was conducted for: trapezius m. (TRA), upper neck extensors (UNE) and sternocleido-mastoid m. (SCM). EMG was normalized to Maximal Voluntary Contractions (MVC). Results: EMG in UNE (%MVC) was in general significantly higher than TRA and SCM, and significantly higher during SAR+NVG (pilots: 2.9±1.7 (TRA), 12.7±5.2 (UNE), 4.3±2.9 (SCM); crew members: 4.1±3.8 (TRA), 10.5±2.4 (UNE), 2.4±1.5 (SCM)) compared to PT or PT+NVG. Exercises were based on EMG and experience regarding targeted neck training for fighter pilots and included progressive/undulating strength-endurance and coordination exercises targeting deep/superficial neck muscles (2). TheraBand® elastics as well as video instructions and training diaries were used. Discussion: Muscle activity was ~10% MVC in UNE and such sustained activity implies a high risk for developing disorders (3). An ongoing randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the training exercises in reducing neck pain. References:1. Ang B, Harms-Ringdahl K. Neck pain and related disability in helicopter pilots: A survey of prevalence and risk factors. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 2006;77(7):713-7192. Lange B, Toft P, Myburgh C, Sjøgaard G. Effect of targeted strength, endurance, and coordination exercise on neck and shoulder pain among fighter pilots. A randomized-controlled trial. Clin J Pain 2013; 29:50-93. G. Sjøgaard and B. R. Jensen. Low-Level Static Exertions, The Occupational ergonomics handbook, edited by Waldemar Krawowski and William S. Marras, 1999 by CRC Press 11.C, 2006, section 13.1, page. 247.

M3 - Conference abstract for conference

ER -

Murray M, Lange B, Riebling Nørnberg B, Søgaard K, Sjøgaard G. Exercise for the treatment of neck pain among military helicopter pilots and crew members. 2014. Abstract from “Aerospace Medicine Summit and NATO STO Technical Course, Ramstein, Germany.