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Musculoskeletal Disorders : Overview

Definition of Musculoskeletal Disorder

Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body’s movement or system 
(i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.).

Common musculoskeletal disorders include:


Ø  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ø  Tendonitis

Ø  Muscle / Tendon strain

Ø  Ligament Sprain

Ø  Tension Neck Syndrome

Ø  Thoracic Outlet Compression

Ø  Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Ø  Epicondylitis

Ø  Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Ø  Digital Neuritis

Ø  Trigger Finger / Thumb

Ø  DeQuervain’s Syndrome

Ø  Mechanical Back Syndrome

Ø  Degenerative Disc Disease

Ø  Ruptured / ruptured intervertebral disc,

The explanation for 
Musculoskeletal Disorders – Exposure to Risk Factors
When a worker is exposed to MSD risk factors, they start to fatigue. When fatigue outruns their body’s recovery system, they develop a musculoskeletal imbalance. Over time, as fatigue continues to outrun recovery and therefore the musculoskeletal imbalance persists, a musculoskeletal disorder develops.

These risk factors are often choppy into two categories: work-related (ergonomic) risk factors and individual-related risk factors.


Work-related Risk Factors

Workplace design plays an important 
role within the development of an MSD.

When a worker is asked to try to work that's 
outside his body’s capabilities and limitations, he's being asked to place his system in danger . In these situations, an objective evaluation of the workstation design tells us the worker’s recovery system won't be ready to continue with the fatigue which will be caused by performing the work . The evaluation will tell us that ergonomic risk factors are present, the worker is in danger of developing a musculoskeletal imbalance and a musculoskeletal disorder is an imminent reality.

There are three primary ergonomic risk factors.

• High task repetition - much work tasks and cycles are repetitive in nature, and are frequently controlled by hourly or daily production targets and work processes. High task repetition, when combined with other risks factors such high force and/or awkward postures, can contribute to the formation of MSD. employment 
is taken into account highly repetitive if the cycle time is 30 seconds or less.

• Forceful exertions - Many work tasks require high force loads on the physical body. Muscle effort increases in response to high force requirements, increasing associated fatigue which may 
cause MSD.

• Repetitive or sustained awkward postures - Awkward postures place excessive force on joints and overload the muscles and tendons round the 
effected joint. Joints of the body are most effective once they operate closest to the mid-range motion of the joint. Risk of MSD is increased when joints are worked outside of this mid-range repetitively or for sustained periods of your time without adequate recovery time.

Exposure to those 
workplace risk factors puts workers at a better level of MSD risk. It’s common sense: high task repetition, forceful exertions and repetitive/sustained awkward postures fatigue the worker’s body beyond their ability to recover, resulting in a musculoskeletal imbalance and eventually an MSD.


Individual-related Risk Factors

Human beings are multi-dimensional. Limiting ourselves to a singular explanation for 
MSDs will limit our ability to make a prevention strategy that addresses the multi-dimensional worker.

We need to deal with 
both workplace risk factors and individual risk factors.
Individual risk factors include:

• Poor work practices - Workers who use poor work practices, body mechanics and lifting techniques are introducing unnecessary risk factors which will 
contribute to MSDs. These poor practices create unnecessary stress on their bodies that increases fatigue and reduces their body’s ability to properly recover.

• Poor overall health habits - Workers who smoke, drink excessively, are obese, or exhibit numerous other poor health habits are putting themselves in danger 
for not only musculoskeletal disorders, but also for other chronic diseases which will shorten their life and health span.

• Poor rest and recovery - MSDs develop when fatigue outruns the workers recovery system, causing a musculoskeletal imbalance. Workers who don't 
get adequate rest and recovery put themselves at higher risk.

• Poor nutrition, fitness and hydration - For a rustic 
as developed because the us , an alarming number of individuals are malnourished, dehydrated and at such a poor level of fitness that climbing one flight of stairs puts many of us out of breath. Workers who don't lookout of their bodies are putting themselves at a better risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.

Exposure to those 
individual risk factors puts workers at a better level of MSD risk. a bit like workplace risk factors, individual risk factors are common sense: when a worker uses poor work practice, has bad health habits, doesn’t get adequate rest and recovery and doesn’t lookout of their bodies with an honest nutrition and fitness regimen, they're at greater risk for fatigue to outrun their recovery system. Having a poor overall health profile puts them at greater risk of developing a musculoskeletal imbalance and eventually an MSD.



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