The musculoskeletal system refers to the synergy of muscles, bones, tendons, and nerves in a human body. Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are issues caused by unhealthy working conditions. They adversely affect the body’s musculoskeletal functions like movement and mobility; examples are Tension Neck Syndrome, Tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, etc.
These painful disorders are largely preventable with appropriate care, and the huge related economic and social costs can be easily avoided. However, they are very common, and it is reported that more than $30 billion are spent on treatment of WMSDs in Canada annually. In order to address this issue, we first need to understand the underlying causes.
Ergonomic (Work-Related) Causes
Ergonomic causes of WMSDs are a direct result of working conditions. Here’s how working conditions cause WMSDs:
- Some physical jobs require high exertion of force, e.g. in picking, pushing and pulling heavy objects. Continuous exertion without proper breaks and rejuvenation can put a strain on the musculoskeletal system and cause a host of WMSDs.
- Repetition of a certain physical activity for long periods of time can lead to overexertion of muscles. Every part of the body has a capacity and if pushed beyond that capacity, WMSDs are likely to occur.
- Adopting a poor posture for prolonged periods can overwork joints. Use mid-range motion to avoid this.
Individual related causes of WMSDs are a result of unhealthy individual habits and not directly related to the nature of one’s job. The following poor working habits are the leading causes of individual-related WMSDs:
- Poor fitness levels from lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, and obesity can make a person more susceptible to WMSDs. Poor fitness weakens the immune system and the musculoskeletal system becomes too weak to cope with the physical requirements of the job.
- The human body needs adequate rest, sleep and rejuvenation by healthy food intake in order to stay strong and resilient. Lack of recovery will lead to weakness and WMSDs.
- Adverse work practices like not taking safety precautions can also lead to direct musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain.
Prevention is the key to dealing with WMSDs. Take guidance from a highly experienced doctor at Divergent Health Group, a multiple disciplinary clinic in Calgary that analyses problems and works toward a solution. If you’ve been experiencing WMSDs, contact us to make sure that you address the problem and get your perfect health back. Stay healthy! Call 403.909.8111 for more information.