What are MSDs?
Musculoskeletal diseases are commonly termed as MSDs. This condition can affect the joints, tendons, muscles, nerves and ligaments of an individual. This is a problem that can be caused by a person’s work environment or the nature of his or her job. MSDs can also be developed by sports enthusiasts and those with hobbies that require precision movement like guitar playing. Doing a certain activity daily can exacerbate your musculoskeletal disorder. Fractures caused by accidents can also lead to diseases musculoskeletal in origin.
The condition can affect a person’s shoulders, neck, back and also one’s upper limbs. MSDs rarely affect the lower extremities. However, it should be noted that there are some instances where the legs or thighs have been affected. The health-related problems caused by MSDs can range from slight discomfort to pains and aches of a varying intensity. The two most important types of MSDs are RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries and Back Disorders or Pains). These diseases originate as musculoskeletal and require proper treatment to prevent exacerbation of the problem.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
A repetitive strain injury will affect the arms or upper limbs and the shoulders as well. Some examples of RSIs are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Lateral Epicondylitis and Tendinitis.
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a form of wrist pain due to tendon inflammation. It is caused by repetitive strain on the area. Since the wrist’s passageway is restricted, the nerves are compressed and this may lead to a tingling sensation that progresses to aches and pains. Typing for hours without rest can cause this problem. By using a wrist pad or rest, you can lower your chances of suffering from this debilitating condition. Of all the diseases musculoskeletal in nature, this is one that usually will require surgery.
2. Lateral Epicondylitis
Lateral Epicondylitis is commonly called a “Tennis Elbow." It is caused by small tears found in the tendons which are the tissue that attaches the arm bone to the forearm muscles at the joint of the elbow. Since professional tennis players practice every day to improve their performance, this is a common type of injury and is exacerbated when left untreated.
Tendinitis is caused by using the tendon repeatedly. The individual will feel pain and stiffness in the area that is affected due to inflammation and irritation. A doctor will usually recommend NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) for the discomfort and advise the patient to have the area assessed to determine if the pains are due to the probable diseases musculoskeletal in origin or merely a simple sprain.
1. Spinal Problems
While spinal problems may present themselves in early childhood or adolescence, the problem may be exacerbated in the workplace due to improper seating posture and a fondness for slouching. The lack of a proper backrest may also cause a person to lean forward.
2. Muscle or Soft Tissue Injury
Muscle or soft tissue injury of the back is a sign of poor posture and possible skeletal problems like scoliosis. Improper backrests in a school or workplace may increase the discomfort of a person who has spinal problems and increase the risk for those with normal postures to get diseases musculoskeletal in nature due to improper seat rests.
A lumbar hernia is commonly known as a “slipped disk” and is one of the important diseases musculoskeletal in type that can lead to paralysis of the lower extremity. It can be caused by a sports-related accident, lifting a heavy load or a fall on the sidewalk. This condition can also develop later in life due to poor body mechanics. People in their 30’s onwards are at a risk of developing a lumbar hernia, especially if they have an abnormal spinal curvature or calcium deficiencies.
Tips and comments
Prevent MSDs in the home, school or workplace by following a few simple guidelines:
1. Invest in seats that have great lower back support.
2. Use a wrist pad when using the computer.
3. Purchase a computer table and position the screen so that it is level to your eyes.
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