Musculoskeletal Disorders

Also known as MSDs, Musculoskeletal disorders, account for several conditions that require days away from work. It is also assessed that it can cost businesses billions, annually. Almost every industry including restaurants, hotels, and more importantly manufacturing, are at risk of MSDs. It is extremely important to identify and treat these disorders early to prevent people from being unable to work and saving them a lot of money outright. Workplace injuries account for most of the MSDs today. While laying down strategies for prevention, it is also important to understand the causes and symptoms of MSDs, in order to deal with the issue, effectively.

What is a Musculoskeletal Disorder?

Injuries and conditions that affect the movement of the human body or the musculoskeletal system comprising of tendons, ligaments, muscles, discs, blood vessels, nerves, etc. are known as Musculoskeletal Disorders – a term that is collectively used to describe the issue.

Repetitive Motion Injury, Repetitive Stress Injury, Overuse Injury and much more, are other common terminologies for MSDs. While the titles might vary, Musculoskeletal Disorder by itself points to one singular cause for damage that is repetition and stress.

Cause of MSDs

The primary cause of MSDs is attributed to the exposure of the individual to risk factors where fatigue outruns the body’s recovery system. Patients develop musculoskeletal imbalance and eventually, a disorder develops. Risk factors for MSDs can be divided into two – ergonomic or work-related and individual risk factors.

Ergonomic

The design of a workplace plays a crucial role in the development of MSD. When individuals work beyond the body’s limitations and capabilities, they are risking their musculoskeletal system. An objective assessment of the workstation will provide us with insight, whether or not, the individual’s recovery system will keep up with the fatigue as the job is performed.

A musculoskeletal disorder is imminent due to ergonomic risk factors.Work-related risk factors are further divided into high task repetition, forceful exertions, and awkward postures. These are considered as primary culprits of MSDs.

Repetition of Tasks

Controlled frequently by the daily and hourly production targets and work processes, tasks and work cycles can be highly repetitive. When combined with other risk factors, awkward postures including high force activities, and repetition of tasks can contribute to the advent of MSD. If the cycle time is 30 seconds or less, then the task is considered highly monotonous and tiresome.

Exertion with Force

Several work tasks involve high levels of muscle response, which lead to force loads on the human body. This increases fatigue, leading to MSD.

Postures

It is not unknown that awkward postures can be detrimental. These impose excessive force on the joints and tend to overload the muscles and tendons. Joint efficiency depends primarily upon its closest mid-range motion. When these are worked outside of the mid-range repetitively without providing it adequate recovery time, it leads to an increased risk of MSD.

Workers exposed to such forceful exertions, repetitive tasks and prolonged awkward postures, experience fatigue, and the body is beyond its ability to recover. The resultant musculoskeletal imbalance ultimately leads to MSD.

Individual Factors

As multidimensional beings, humans cannot be limited to a singular cause when it comes to MSD. Furthermore, this restriction may also hinder our ability to create prevention strategies that aid the multidimensional individual worker.

Work Practices

For individuals, risk factors of MSD are in the form of poor work practices including body mechanics, lifting techniques, etc. that attract unwanted stress and fatigue. Simultaneously, the body also loses its ability to recover appropriately. Excessive drinking, smoking and poor overall health habits can put individuals at risk of multiple chronic diseases including MSD.

Rest & Recovery

When fatigue outruns your recovery system, then MSD develops causing musculoskeletal irregularities. This is primarily because, individuals do not pay much attention to the adequate rest and recovery process required, thus putting themselves at a higher risk. Following this, poor fitness, lack of hydration, and improper nutrition routines add to the plight, again leading to chronic health issues as well as MSD.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of MSDs are:

  • Stiffness, weakness and pain – all of them often persistent.
  • Decreased range of motion – limiting mobility, dexterity and functional abilities.
  • Noises in the joints – where early diagnosis and treatment are not available, joint deformity may be visualised.
  • Inflammation – along with pain and impaired function, there is redness, swelling and warmth in the overlying skin area.

On a broader perspective, there could be associated impacts on mental well-being due to the individual’s inability to actively participate in social activities

Impacts of MSD

MSD can affect the following:

  • Joints – osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis
  • Spine – back and neck pain
  • Muscles – sarcopenia
  • Bones – osteoporosis, fragility fractures, traumatic fractures

Multiple systems in the body – connective tissue diseases and vasculitishave musculoskeletal manifestations (example: systemic lupus erythematosus)

Prevalence of MSD

Musculoskeletal conditions can affect anyone from adolescence to old age. It is prevalent across the life course and its impact is predicted to rise gradually as the risk factors for noncommunicable diseases increase. This is particularly true for low- and middle-income settings. You can also see MSDs occurring commonly alongside other non-communicable diseases in multimorbidity health areas

Common Disorders

Some of the most common musculoskeletal disorders are (To name only a few):

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Tension Neck Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Compression
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Epicondylitis
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome
  • Digital Neuritis
  • DeQuervain’s Syndrome
  • Mechanical Back Syndrome
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Ruptured or Herniated Disc

Prevention & Management

Most musculoskeletal disorders share the same risk factors such as lack of physical activity, obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking. Management generally requires specialist care and, in many cases, surgical intervention. Some MSDs can be resolved with primary care including psychological therapies, weight management, exercise, and other Pharmacological therapies.

There are specialised units for orthopaedics set up at SIMS, Nungambakkam. Speak to our staff for an appointment today!

You Can Walk Again !

ALL ABOUT OSTEOARTHRITIS AND TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT

According to the National Health Portal Osteoarthritis is the most frequent joint disease that affects 22% to 39% of Indians. Furthermore, the study also states that R   adiological evidence of osteoarthritis in women over 65 years of age is at least 70%. The condition is common to both developed and developing countries. Medicographia has published an article on knee replacement and arthritis that states that the condition affects millions of people worldwide and at least 80% of them opt for a total knee replacement or TKR. Osteoarthritis is also considered as one of the most prevalent among chronic rheumatic diseases. Aging and routine heavy occupational activity (particularly to earn a living) are all strongly associated risk factors for the development of osteoarthritis. Incidentally, even young individuals can suffer from osteoarthritis, especially when it is hereditary.

What is OA or Osteoarthritis?

A naturally degenerative condition, osteoarthritis of the knee, wears away the cushioning that enables the joints, to otherwise move freely without any friction. When there is no cushioning, the bones tend to rub against each other causing friction. The lack of shock-absorbing cartilage can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and inability to move. 

Causes of osteoarthritis of the knee :

While aging is identified as the primary cause of osteoarthritis, other factors come into play as well. As a person gets older, the healing abilities of the cartridge decreases.

Heredity

Individuals with a long-standing history of genetic mutations are prone to develop osteoarthritis of the knee. Inherited abnormalities of the bones that surround the joint, may also result in the disease.

Weight gain

Obesity is also one of the major reasons for osteoarthritis. The weight of the body rests heavily on the knees, increasing pressure, 

Gender

Studies indicate that women are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee than men. Increased risk factors are observed in women over the age of 55.

Athletics

Prolonged long-distance running or playing soccer and tennis can result in osteoarthritis of the knee. Injuries should be avoided and regular moderate exercise is extremely important to regulate the joints.

Stress injuries

Depending on the individual’s occupation, repetitive stress injuries along with a lot of kneeling and squatting may lead to osteoarthritis. Lifting 55 pounds or more can lead to constant joint pressure.

Illnesses

Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, and other metabolic disorders such as iron overload and the presence of excessive growth hormones, are at a higher risk of osteoarthritis.

Types of osteoarthritis :

Typically, there are four stages of osteoarthritis.

In the minor stage, lumps of osteophytes grow in the knee area and damage to the cartilage is mild. There is no visible narrowing of the space between the bones and no apparent cartilage breakdown.

The mild stage, the tissues seem to harden, and bones seem thicker and broader. Still, the space between the bone joints appear normal.

Moderate osteoarthritis occurs when some cartilage damage is visualised. Activities such as running, walking, bending, and kneeling can cause pain and discomfort.

At its most severe stage, osteoarthritis of the knee is debilitating where individuals experience extreme pain and are unable to move without any discomfort or pain. A significant wear and tear of the cartilage are envisioned in the x-rays.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

A total knee replacement or TKR can improve the quality of your life almost instantly. Severe symptoms can be easily addressed and even provide patients with the best outcomes. More than 90% of the patients experiencing acute disability due to osteoarthritis of the knee have recovered completely. 

What happens?

The front of the knee is removed, and the kneecap is first exposed, after which the surgeon reaches out to the joint present behind it. Damaged parts of the bones are extracted, and prosthetic is placed. Thereafter, the joints are cleaned, and the wound is closed.

Advanced surgical tools and enhanced operative setups at SIMS Hospital, Nungambakkam ensure that the patient is mobile in less than 24 hours. 

Speak to Doctors at SIMS Hospital, Nungambakkam, for an appointment, today.

Hi, How Can We Help You?