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Muscle learning therapy-efficacy of a biofeedback based protocol in treating work-related upper extremity disorders


Nord, Stephen; Ettare, Dennis; Drew, Dana [u. a.]


k. A.


Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2001, Volume 11 (Issue 1), Seite 23-31, Norwell, Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISSN: 1053-0487




Work-related upper extremity disorders (WRUEDs) continue to present significant treatment and financial challenges to providers, employers, and insurers. This retrospective study reviews outcomes for 309 subjects who, between 1995 and 1999, were referred through the workers' compensation system for treatment of computer keyboard- and mouse-related WRUED injuries.

The mean length of time from the recorded date of injury to the date of intake was 12.9 months. Subjects were offered a 12-visit course in muscle learning therapy (MLT). MLT is an operant conditioning program which uses surface electromyography (sEMG) to train injured workers to control their muscles during work activities. Patient response to therapy was obtained by a therapist-administered questionnaire during Visit 8 of 12.

A group of 309 subjects, who had failed to respond to a previous course of therapy (typically physical therapy), reported significant improvements of pain in the neck, thorax, and upper extremities. Ninety six percent reported that they felt 'more in control,' 86% reported feeling 'better overall,' and 81% reported either 'working the same and feeling better' or 'working and accomplishing more.'

This study provides preliminary support for this approach and provides justification for controlled clinical trials in the future.

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Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

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Informationsstand: 29.01.2004

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