Musculoskeletal pain can be reduced through structured exercises

Back pain
Pain (Credit: Pixabay)

Main Points:

Limited studies and efforts on post-operative face-down positioning (FDP) encouraged Kim et al. (2021) to conduct a randomised controlled study on it. The FDP-related pain can be reduced with the implementation of structured exercises. These prove effective in optimising patient satisfaction through the diminishing of FDP-related pain. Patients with FDP suffer from mental isolation, pain, and severe physical burden, which can be counteracted with the use of effective strategies.

Published on:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

The most commonly used strategies for reducing postoperative pain after vitrectomy are the use of assistive devices and painkillers, while structured exercises are often ignored. Kim enrolled 70 participants in the research study to demonstrate the effect of structured exercise on patients with retinal detachments and macular holes. Eight subjects were eliminated from the study, while one refused to undergo the process. All the participants were over 18 years of age and were subjected to vitrectomy. The hospital admitted participants were randomly classified into the control or exercise groups.

The methodology includes the application of a rehabilitation exercise programme for the participants of the exercise group. The pain score was assessed after the physiotherapist conducted the training and exercise education. However, positioning pillows, drug skin patches of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine and conventional pain killers were provided to both groups. The exercise regime was continued for three days, and patients were discharged later on.

The numeric rating scale (NRS) was used as a tool to analyse the musculoskeletal pain intensity after vitrectomy. According to the questionnaire outcomes, the average pain rating found for the lower back, shoulder, and back neck for the exercise group was recorded to be 1, 1, and 2 respectively. However, for the control participants, the pain intensity recorded was 4, 3, and 5, respectively. The significantly lower pain scores among participants of the exercise group demonstrated the reduced discomfort, irritation, and alleviation of position-induced post-operative physical burden.

The researchers reported that the execution of a proper exercise program optimizes patient compliance and recovery after retinal surgery while reducing the intensity of pain. They concluded that after retinal surgery, an improvement in postoperative satisfaction and a reduction in physical stress are experienced by individuals due to the implementation of FDP-related exercises.


Kim, A. Y., Hwang, S., Kang, S. W., Shin, S. Y., Chang, W. H., Kim, S. J., & Noh, H. (2021). A structured exercise to relieve musculoskeletal pain caused by face-down posture after retinal surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Sci Rep, 11(1), 22074.

Nagina Anwar

Nagina Anwar is Medical and Business graduate (Pharm. D - gold medalist, MPhil, MBA exec., B.Sc.). She is pursuing her career in the field of education and freelancing as a lecturer and content writer, respectively. Writing is her passion, which she is pursuing for the last 6 years. She is continuously unlocking new horizons with national and international projects.