High Cost of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders


What is Musculoskeletal Disorder

Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

Being injured on the job can certainly put a serious damper on anyone’s day. Everyone wants to go to work and earn a living without incident but unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. Even if a worker is extremely cautious and avoid accidents as much as possible, he or she could still receive an injury because of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disease (MSD).

Drawbacks to MSD

The worst thing about MSD is the fact that it is developed over time by making repetitive movements and it’s difficult to avoid. If someone works on an assembly line where he or she makes repetitive movements, MSD could set in over time.

There are several factors which can contribute to MSD such as poor health and lack of physical fitness but these injuries are usually developed over time by repetitive motion or prolonged amounts of time in awkward positions. MSD can affect virtually the entire body including but not limited to the shoulders, the back, the elbows, rotator cuffs and the knees.

Most Common MSD Injuries

One third of every dollar spent on worker’s compensation was paid out due to an MSD. Back injuries due to MSD account for 42% of all claims filed and shoulder injuries were the second most common injury with 13%. Unfortunately the unique, ball-and-socket joint in the shoulder takes a long period to heal and workers suffering from an MSD shoulder injury took an average of 21 days to recover.

Other MSD Injuries

Arm and wrist injuries combined for 11% of MSD cases and the average recovery time was 18 days. Abdomen injuries accounted for 5% of all claims with an average recovery time of 20 days. Leg injuries accounted for 11% of all MSD claims and the average recovery time was 15 days and 5% of MSD claims were for multiple injuries with an average recovery time of 12 days.

Results of MSD

There are several common medical ailments that result from MSD as outlined below.

Tendonitis and tennis elbow. Other ailments are nearly exclusive to the workplace such as carpal tunnel syndrome. MSD can also result in back pain, muscle strain and rotator cuff syndrome. Over half of the MSD cases reported were for workers between the ages of 35 and 54 and more than half of all MSD cases actually occur within an office setting.

Many of these injuries occur because the workers are not stretching properly before their shifts. There are a variety of simple exercises which are believed to ward off MSD injuries such as head turn stretches, chin tucks, shoulder stretches, arm stretches and chest stretches.

On the job injuries are sometimes unavoidable but stretching properly prior to a shift can certainly aid a person in their effort to remain injury free. MSD can still set in overtime which is why so many claims were filed by individuals over 35. If someone is injured on the job, he or she should contact their supervisor immediately and begin the process of filing a worker’s compensation claim.