Surgeons Can Avoid Lasting Pain Through Exercise Literacy (SCAPEL)

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Timothy Uhl
Updated on 23 May 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


The physical demands of surgery are in many ways similar to those of high-performance athletes. No professional athlete would consider performing without careful attention to strengthening and physical preparedness, yet surgeons routinely place rigorous demands on their bodies without any training plan specific to their work demands. A series of exercises were developed to help stretch and strengthen the key core muscles to support surgeons during operating to prevent neck pain. This study hypothesizes that Neck pain discomfort will decrease following an 8-week intervention program compared to baseline reported scores.


Participant will be asked to fill out a series 5 questionnaires at beginning of the study, end of the 8-week intervention and 1 month later to determine how the exercise program affected their general health, neck pain, and function.

  1. Demographic information about their age, height, weight, sex, surgical experience, surgical frequency, level of pain, and exercise frequency and types. (21 items)
  2. A questionnaire about neck pain (10 items)
  3. A questionnaire about how pain interferes with their life (8 items)
  4. A questionnaire about general health (10 items)
  5. A questionnaire about how much the participant typically exercise. (4 items) All these questionnaires can be completed on a computer or tablet and the data will be stored on a secure site (RedCap). This should be completed in approximately 20 minutes at each assessment.

Next participants will be instructed how to perform a series of 4 exercises described in the intervention

Every week the participant will be sent a 3-item questionnaire to report their level of pain, surgical burden, and exercise compliance for the week. There are only 3 multiple choice questions which should take approximately 1 minute to complete per week.

Condition Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain
Treatment Exercise
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05175443
SponsorTimothy Uhl
Last Modified on23 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

must be an actively operating surgeon either faculty, fellow, or resident
Must report at least 4 out of 10 with pain at worst over the previous week at intake that is attributed to operating

Exclusion Criteria

Participants will be excluded if they have prior neck or upper back surgery within the last year
If the participant has any other medical condition that would prevent the participant from performing shoulder and neck strengthening and stretching exercises
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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