Your thoughts can cause neck and back strain during lifting tasks: Study | Health

According to a new study, the emotional pain of mental dissonance — receiving knowledge that contradicts how we behave or what we think — may contribute to increased stress on the neck and lower back during lifting and lowering tasks. When study participants were told they were performing poorly on a precision-reduction experiment in the laboratory, after initially being told they were doing well, their movements were associated with increased load on the vertebrae in their neck and lower back.

The results showed that the higher the cognitive dissonance score, the greater the load on the upper and lower parts of the spine.  (unsplash)
The results showed that the higher the cognitive dissonance score, the greater the load on the upper and lower parts of the spine. (unsplash)

The results showed that the higher the cognitive dissonance score, the greater the load on the upper and lower parts of the spine. The findings suggest that cognitive dissonance may be a previously unknown risk factor for neck and low back pain, which may have implications for risk prevention in the workplace, according to the researchers.

“This increased spinal loading occurred under only one condition with a very light load — you can imagine what it would be like with more complex tasks or heavier loads,” said senior author William Maras, executive director of Ohio State’s Spine Research Institute. University. “Basically, the study just scratched the surface of showing that there’s something to it.”

The research was recently published in the journal Ergonomics. The Marras lab has been studying everyday life and occupational forces on the spine for decades. About 20 years ago, he discovered that psychological stress could affect spine biomechanics, using a study design that involved mock reasoning with a graduate student in front of research participants.

“We found that in some personality types, the load on the spine is increased by up to 35%,” Maras said. “We found that when you’re under that kind of psychosocial stress, you tend to do what we call co-activate muscles in your torso. It creates this tug-of-war in the muscles because you’re always under stress.” In this study, that mind-body connection gets To do this, we decided to look at the way people think and with cognitive dissonance, when people are distracted from their thoughts.”

Seventeen research participants – nine men and eight women aged 19-44 – completed three phases of an experiment in which they placed a lightweight box in a square on a surface that was moved left and right, up and down. After a short practice run, researchers responded almost exclusively positively during the first of two 45-minute test blocks. During the second time, the feedback increasingly suggested that the participants were performing in an unsatisfactory manner.

To arrive at a cognitive discomfort score for each participant, changes in blood pressure and heart rate variability during the experiment were compared to responses to two questionnaires assessing discomfort levels as well as positive and negative affect – feeling strong and motivated versus sad and embarrassed. Wearable sensors and motion-capture technology were used to detect peak spinal loads in the neck and lower back: compression of both vertebrae and vertebral movement, or shear, from side to side (lateral) and front and back.

Statistical modeling showed that, on average, peak spinal loads at cervical vertebrae in the neck were 11.1% higher in compression, 9.4% higher in A/P shear, and 19.3% higher in lateral shear than baseline in the negative-feedback trial block. Measures from practice runs. Peak loading in the lower back lumbar region—the region most susceptible to any spinal loading—increased 1.7% in compression and 2.2% in shear during the final trial block.

“Part of the motivation here was to see if cognitive dissonance might manifest itself not just in the lower back—we thought we’d find it there, but we didn’t know what we’d find in the neck. We found. A very strong response in the neck, “said Maras, professor of integrated systems engineering in the College of Medicine’s academic appointment in neurosurgery, orthopedics and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

“Our tolerance for shear is much lower than for compression, so that’s important,” he said. “A small percentage load is not a big deal for one time. But think about when you’re working day in and day out, and you’re in a job where you’re doing it 40 hours a week – that can be significant, and can be the difference between disorder and not disorder. ” Maras is also the principal investigator on a federally funded multi-institution clinical trial evaluating various treatments for low back pain that range from medication to exercise to cognitive behavioral therapy.

“We’re trying to open up this onion and understand all the different things that affect spinal cord disorders because it’s really, really complicated,” he said. “Just like the whole system has to be right for a car to run correctly, we’re learning that it’s with the spine. You can be in good shape physically, but if you don’t think correctly or properly. , or you have all these mental irregularities, like cognitive Dissatisfaction, which will affect the system. And until you get that right, you’re not right.

“We’re looking for causal pathways. And now we can say that cognitive dissonance plays a role and how it works. This research was supported by Internal Spine Research Institute funding. Co-authors First author Eric Weston, a former integrated systems engineering graduate student at Ohio State They included; Afton Hassett of the University of Michigan; and Safdar Khan and Tristan Weaver of Ohio State.

This story is published from the Wire Agency feed without modification to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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