Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries that can affect the human body’s ability to move, along with the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and other components of the musculoskeletal system. This can include conditions like tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and bone fractures.
MSDs can cause considerable pain for the individuals that suffer from them, along with money lost for both employees and employers (due to worker’s compensation costs and the inability to work.
In many cases, though, MSDs are preventable, and the costs associated with them are avoidable. It’s important to understand what causes these injuries to help safeguard against them. The following list includes two of the most common ways in which MSDs come about.
It’s all too common for lawyers like The Ward Firm, a car accident attorney in Sacramento, to deal with individuals who sustain musculoskeletal injuries following an automobile collision. Indeed, a 2018 research paper on the impacts of road traffic crashes shows that they are the “most common injury” sustained after an accident, and have far reaching impacts on an individual’s ability to return to work.
Car accidents can result in damage to many parts of the musculoskeletal system, including the joints, bones, muscles, and spine. Such injuries, and the pain associated with them, have the potential to develop into chronic conditions, including whiplash-associated disorder (WAD), along with chronic neck pain, back pain, and strain on the upper and lower extremities.
Injuries On The Job
Work accidents and repetitive stress account for another major source of musculoskeletal injuries. According to the CDC, repeated trauma from everyday work activities can result in injuries to the muscles, tendons, and nerves. Over time, this can manifest as common work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), including:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — a disorder of the peripheral nervous system causing compression of the median nerve at the wrist, and may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy. CTS affects upwards of 1.9 million people in the US.
Back Pain — a straightforward description of what the CDC cites as one of the “top ten reasons for medical visits. Back pain is chronic in about 5-10% of patients, and accounts for numerous days away from work for employees involved in physical labor.
Arthritis — refers to “more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints.” Development of arthritis is more closely associated with occupations like mining, construction, agriculture, and parts of the service industry that are physically demanding.
It’s important to understand that the risk of MSDs increases with age, but that doesn’t mean they are unavoidable. Developing healthy habits early, engaging in regular exercise, and maintaining good posture during strenuous workplace activity all go a long way in helping to prevent the development of such injuries and keeping yourself in good shape.