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What Are Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

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musculoskeletal disorders

By Rawlings Oke Godwin

On 10 Sep, 2022

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Musculoskeletal Disorders: What You Need to Know

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common type of injury in the workplace, accounting for nearly 15% of all injuries in the United States. These disorders can result in short-term or long-term discomfort and pain, and can also cause permanent damage to your body.

There is a great deal of research indicating that musculoskeletal disorders are common in office workers. These disorders can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, and can significantly impact workers’ productivity. There are a number of things that office workers can do to help prevent these disorders, including taking breaks, using ergonomic equipment, and stretching regularly.

Types Of Musculoskeletal Disorders

There are many types of musculoskeletal disorders. Some of the more common ones are:

1. Arthritis – Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that affects the hands and wrists. It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling.

3. Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. It can cause bones to become weak and fragile.

4. Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in the muscles and joints.

5. Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a condition that results in the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints.

6. Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints.

7. Gout – Gout is a condition that results in the build-up of uric acid in the joints, which can cause pain and swelling.

Common Causes Of Musculoskeletal Disorders

There are several musculoskeletal disorders causes . Some of the more common causes of musculoskeletal disorders include:

  1. Repetitive motions or activities – This can include tasks that are routinely done at work, such as typing on a computer, or motions that are regularly done during leisure activities, such as playing a sport.
  2. Improper posture – This can be caused by sitting in a chair for long periods of time with poor posture, or by standing in one place for too long.
  3. Excessive weight – Carrying around too much weight can put stress on the body’s muscles and joints, which can lead to a musculoskeletal disorder.
  4. Aging – With age, the body’s muscles and joints can become weaker, which can lead to a musculoskeletal disorder.
  5. Injury or trauma – A sudden injury, such as a fall or car accident, can damage the muscles or joints and lead to a musculoskeletal disorder.
  6. Overuse – Repeatedly using the same muscles or joints can cause them to become tired and weak, leading to a musculoskeletal disorder.
  7. Obesity – Carrying too much weight can put strain on the muscles and joints, leading to a musculoskeletal disorder.
  8. Genetics – Some people may be born with a tendency to develop a musculoskeletal disorder.

Musculoskeletal Disorders Symptoms

Musculoskeletal disorders can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the specific condition. Some common symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders manifestations include:

  1. • Joint pain
  2. • Muscle pain
  3. • Limited range of motion
  4. • Stiffness
  5. • Swelling
  6. • numbness or tingling
  7. • Difficulty using the affected body part
  8. • Muscle weakness
  9. • Tingling or numbness
  10. . Disability

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.

Musculoskeletal Disorders Treatment

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to treating musculoskeletal disorders. Treatment will vary depending on the specific disorder, its severity, and the patient’s individual needs. However, some common treatments for musculoskeletal disorders include:

  1. Physical therapy
  2. Medications
  3. Surgery

Physical therapy is often one of the most important treatments for musculoskeletal disorders. Physical therapists can help patients improve their range of motion, strength, and flexibility. They can also help patients learn how to properly use their muscles and joints to prevent further injury.

Medications may also be prescribed to help treat musculoskeletal disorders. These medications can include pain relievers, acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat a musculoskeletal disorder. Surgery may be needed to remove a tumor, fix a broken bone, or repair a torn muscle, connective tissues or ligament.


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rehabilitation for musculoskeletal disorders. The rehabilitation plan will be tailored to the individual and will likely include a mix of therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy.


How Can You Prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders

There are many ways that you can prevent musculoskeletal disorders from occurring in your workplace. Some of these methods are listed below.

1. Implement a safe workstation setup.

2. Ensure that workers are properly trained in how to use the equipment they are using.

3. Encourage workers to take breaks often and move around.

4. Invest in ergonomic equipment and furniture.

5. Promote good posture and body mechanics.

6. Encourage workers to report any discomfort or pain they are experiencing.

7. Collaborating with employees to achieve a common goal

8. Early interventions.

9. Policy reassessment for effectiveness


Musculo-skeletal disorders are a common problem that can occur in any workplace. They can cause significant pain and disability and can be costly to treat. There are many things that can be done to help prevent these disorders, including proper ergonomic design of the workplace, good training and education of employees, and early identification and treatment of any problems.

For Reading

Muscular Dystrophy – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

How to Lose Weight Fast: 10 Steps to Follow

Fact Sheet by WHO

Workplace health promotion

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