Work related Injuries

Work-related musculoskeletal injuries (WRMI)

Work-related musculoskeletal injuries (WRMI), also known as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD), these disorders are also commonly referred to as repetitive strain injuries, cumulative trauma disorders, and overuse syndrome. They  are any range of inflammatory disorders resulting from injury sustained while completing work duties, they are the results of regular exposure to work activities that contribute significantly to the development or exacerbation of painful symptoms; conditions that are worsened or that persist due to work conditions. Such can be the result of repetitive and frequent work activities resulting in overuse and strain to nerves, ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints, and spinal discs.

Due to the emphasis on upper extremity use in occupational or workplace  tasks, the vast majority of WRMIs impact the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck; however, conditions involving the lower extremities and feet, as well as spine and back are common

WMSDs do not include conditions caused by slips, trips, falls, or related injuries, whether or not sustained in the workplace.

WMSDs can be broadly broken down into three categories: (1) Muscle injury, (2) Tendon injury, and (3) Nerve injury.

Common types of WMSDs include: carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS),  tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), back pain, muscle/tendon/ strain, tension neck syndrome, epicondylitis, radial tunnel syndrome, digital neuritis, trigger finger/thumb, Dequervain’s Syndrome, Mechanical Back syndrome, Degenerative Disc Disease, Ruptured/ Herniated Disc,etc

Risk factors:

General Risk factors: Work posture (especially awkward or improper posture), Heavy physical work, Lifting, Temperature extremes (low temperature)

Individual risk factors: smoking, high BMI, and presence of co-morbidities, Failure to take rest breaks, Inadequate staffing, Inadequate training on injury prevention, Low social support, High perceived work load, Time pressure, Low job control.  Perceived stress, High psychological stresses,Repetitive bending, twisting, lifting, Cumulative loads to the spine throughout the day, week, year, Lack of stability through trunk and hips, Age, Smoking, Mental stress, Previous injury, Unhealthy BMI.

WMSI  prevention:

  • Eliminate or minimize work hazards
  • Minimal lifting approach
  • Knowledge/training on proper use of equipments
  • Adequate staffing
  • Bodymechanics and back-care training (Ergonomics) programs.

Physiotherapy intervention Strategies or management procedures:

  • Postural & ergonomic education /training – standing ,sitting , walking and lifting
  • Recommends Suitable ergonimically fit workplace safety Footwear.
  • Exercise therapy : to increase upper extremity and lower extremity and core muscle /trunk strength, Flexibility, muscular Endurance and maintain / improve joint range of motion.
  • Stretching exercise protocols to maintain / improve physiological properties of the body soft tissues.
  • Electrotherapy for pain relief and muscle relaxation.