Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

How can you prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders at work?

What is a Musculoskeletal Disorder?

Musculoskeletal disorders include a wide range of conditions that can vary greatly in type, severity, and prognosis. Common MSDs include arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases, and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). MSDs also commonly manifest as widespread pain conditions and connective tissue diseases and disorders.

When the symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder are caused or made worse by work-related activities, these are known as Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, or WMSDs. Vibrating tools and equipment can increase a worker’s risk of developing a WMSD, particularly in their hands and arms. Evidence shows that regular or frequent exposure to vibration over long periods of time can lead to irreversible damage.

By preventing exposure to potentially harmful levels of vibration, you can reduce the risk that your workers will develop WMSDs, particularly Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.

Key Facts about Musculoskeletal Disorders

What is an MSD?

A musculoskeletal disorder is classified as an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. When the symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder are caused or made worse by work-related activities, these are known as Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, or WMSDs.

Common WMSDs include arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases, and HAVS.

What causes an MSD?

MSDs are caused by sudden or prolonged exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, and awkward positions.

What are the symptoms of an MSD?

Symptoms of an MSD can include stiffness in joints, fatigue, limited range of motion, muscle spasm, tenderness, finger blanching and numbness.

What is the impact of an MSD?

For individuals, MSDs can be life-changing. Often, MSDs require medication, physical therapy, and ongoing treatment. In more severe cases, a person may be unable to work or go about their life as normal due to chronic pain and discomfort. 

Economically, MSDs are among the most costly conditions in the US. Compensation costs, lost wages, and lost productivity is estimated to cost businesses around $50 million per year.

Can MSDs be cured?

When detected early and treated properly, MSDs may be treatable with therapy and medication. The longer the condition goes undetected or untreated, the more likely the damage becomes irreversible.

It’s best to take a preventative approach to MSDs.

How can you reduce the risk of hand and arm MSDs on your team?

There is a recognised relationship between exposure to vibration and the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal damage caused to the hand and arm system. Years of research have established a relationship between the human response and both the duration and intensity of exposure to vibration.

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MSD Prevention

When it comes to MSDs caused by exposure to vibration, the most effective way to prevent your workers’ from developing life-changing and irreversible symptoms is to directly control their exposure to vibration. Learn how Reactec use a powerful combination of wearable technology and cloud-based analytics to prevent work-related MSDs

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People currently living with MSDs, globally
The cost of MSDs to employers every year ($)
Days taken away from work due to MSDs

Want more information?

To learn more about addressing hand and arm-related MSDs at work, speak with a member of our team.

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