Musculoskeletal Injuries

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are quite common in the United States. These disorders are responsible for about 30% of all workers' compensation costs. Companies in the United States spent over 50 billion dollars in compensation of MSDs in 2011. The average MSD usually has a direct cost of up to $15,000. Though musculoskeletal injuries are common, there are certain ways to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.

What Are Musculoskeletal Injuries?

The musculoskeletal system consists of the connect tissues, tendons, muscles, ligament, and bones. Together, it provides shape, stability, protection, and support to the body. Most injuries are the outcome of wear and tear, and make it difficult for an individual to function properly. The most common musculoskeletal injuries are tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ligament sprain, tendon strain, rotator cuff tendonitis, tension neck syndrome, thoracic outlet compression, digital neuritis, radial tunnel syndrome, and mechanical back syndrome. You may also find yourself in trouble due to degenerative disc disease, DeQuervain's syndrome, trigger finger, and herniated disc.

You experience most of these injuries due to repetitive movement of the limbs, high pressure on body parts, excessive burden on specific muscle groups, and performing repetitive tasks in quick succession. Adopting a fixed posture and forceful movement may also result in these injuries.

Signs of Musculoskeletal Injuries to Look Out For

If you have sustained a musculoskeletal injury, you will experience certain signs and symptoms. The most common sign is pain, most time severe pain. You may also experience swelling, numbness, redness, and inability to move the injured body part.

While it is normal to experience some muscle aches, you should never ignore severe pain and seek immediate medical attention to avoid making it worse.When left untreated, these injuries can become serious and result in bursitis or tendonitis. These serious conditions can have long-term complications and affect your work, health, and other aspects of life.

How Can Musculoskeletal Injuries Be Treated?

You may have to undergo serious treatment for quite some time to deal with spinal alignment problems. Acute injuries require a combination of techniques and treatment options.

The first treatment option is to take certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to treat inflammation and reduce pain and swelling. You may have to take certain medications to increase your body's level of norepinephrine and serotonin that can go down due to musculoskeletal disorders such as fibromyalgia. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines to aid sleep – the options include ramelteon, eszopiclone, and more.

Here are some other treatment options your doctor may consider to help you feel better.

  • You may get injection with anti-inflammatory or anesthetic medications around the painful sites.
  • You will have to stick to certain exercises to improve your muscle strength.
  • You may require occupational or physical therapy.
  • Some patients respond well to acupressure or acupuncture.
  • You may benefit from biofeedback techniques and chiropractic care.
  • Osteopathic manipulation may also be required to help restore normal function of certain bodily organs.

How to Prevent Injuries to the Musculoskeletal System

Musculoskeletal injuries can be quite painful and it takes you a while to recover completely. Therefore, the best thing is to learn how you can prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.

  • Do not lift too much by hand. You should instead make use of equipment such as trolleys, handcarts, pallet jacks and forklifts to transport products.
  • Ask someone to help you when trying to lift heavy loads on your own.
  • Do not test the limits of your body. Stretching it too far will result in serious injuries.
  • Have knowledge about certain activities that may result in injuries.
  • Drag instead of lifting heavy objects if the distance is not much.
  • Use scissor lifts or other equipment to lift objects that lie below your knee height.
  • Avoid lifting heavy items manually if they lie above your shoulder height; instead, you should pay attention to improving storage practice by limiting shelf heights.
  • Take steps to improve your grip on heavy load. You can do it by adding clamps or good handles on containers or fixing specific devises to improve grip.
  • Always make use of a ladder or stool to access items on shelves. Never use boxes or chairs to reach for high shelves or you may fall.
  • Take steps to lighten the load that you need to lift. You can do it by encouraging your employer to purchase light and smaller cartons of stock. You can also separate component parts to lighten the load.
  • Always use handrails and move at a slow speed when going up or down stairs.
  • Never try to grasp a vibrating tool with a hard grip.
  • Always follow proper lifting techniques when engaging in manual lifting.
  • Always vary your work practices to avoid deal with repetitive musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Take short breaks when you are doing the same motion repeatedly for hours.
  • Always learn to sit and stand with proper posture.
  • Invest in ergonomically engineer equipment to provide more support to your body and avoid unnecessary strains that lead to injuries.
 
 
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