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Evaluation of work musculoskeletal disorders & common MSD’s

The evaluation of WMSDs includes identifying workplace risks and evaluation begins with a general conversation about a person's employment and requires a detailed description of all the processes involved in a typical workday. Consideration is given to the frequency, intensity, duration, and regularity of each task performed at work.

Common MSDs include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle / Tendon strain
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Tension Neck Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Compression
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Epicondylitis
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome
  • Digital Neuritis
  • Trigger Finger / Thumb
  • DeQuervain’s Syndrome
  • Mechanical Back Syndrome
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Ruptured  Disc

Given the different areas of the body that make up the musculoskeletal system, several other diseases can produce significant musculoskeletal signs and symptoms.  These other disorders include:

  • fibromyalgia
  • gout
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • tendinitis

What are the risk factors for MSDs?
MSD’s have multiple risk factors both occupational and non-occupational, because as well as employment other aspects of daily life are affected such as the capability to perform common tasks, such as housework, shopping and gardening. The musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve tissues impinge on systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and diabetes. Risk varies by age, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Other suspected risk factors include obesity, smoking and muscle strength; WSMDs include three types of injuries:

  • Muscle injury
  • Tendon injury
  • Nerve injury

WMSDs develop from the continuous pressure of arm and hand movement, for example, bending, straightening, gripping and holding, twisting, clenching and reaching. These ordinary movements are not specifically harmful in the ordinary gestures of daily life.  However, it is the work situation and the continual repetition, typically in a forceful manner and the constant pace of the movements and the lack of time for recovery between them, which eventually causes symptoms to develop and gradually over time worsen; WMSDs are associated with work patterns that include:

  • Fixed or constrained body positions.
  • Continual repetition of movements.
  • Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist.
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements.