About the Program
Musculoskeletal (MSI) injuries occur when the ligaments, muscles and tendons become injured. It is helpful to understand how these common injuries occur through observing the signs and symptoms.
A person who is experiencing an musculoskeletal injury may experience one, many or no symptoms at all. Each individual is unique.
MSIs are one of the most common injury types experienced by employees. Field-based employees sustain the greatest number of work-related MSIs, but an MSI can affect anyone. Regardless if you work in the field or an office environment, we are all at risk of experiencing a MSI.
Causes of Musculoskeletal Injuries
Lifting, Carrying and Grip Force
Force as a MSI Risk Factor is defined as the amount of effort our bodies must use to lift objects, to use tools, or to move.
Poor grip, too much weight, bad posture and even temperature can have immediate damaging effects or cause difficult to detect long term problems later in someone’s life.
Reaching, Twisting, Kneeling, Squatting & Bending
Work Posture refers to positioning body parts and holding that position to complete a task.
Any body position held for an extended period has the potential to cause discomfort and pain. Deviating from a neutral body position does not allow for the muscles to work efficiently and greatly increases the chances of an injury.
Repetition & Duration
Work variety, being unaccustomed to the task
Repetition and duration are defined as movements that are performed continuously using the same muscle group with little rest and recovery over an extended period of time.
Repetition combined with other risk factors such as duration, force or awkward postures can quickly become a MSI hazard while performing a job task.
Pressing muscles and/or tendons on sharp or hard surfaces
Contact stress is concentrated pressure on a small part of the body.
This pinching or crushing of tissue causes discomfort and often pain on the localized area.
Vibration & Temperature
Work performed with vibration and temperature
Vibration is the transfer of energy to the body from an external source causing an oscillating motion. Combining temperature and vibration greatly increases the potential of injury to the body’s tendons, muscles, joints and nerves.
Personal Risk Factors
Worker as an athlete and personal lifestyle
Personal risk factors are defined as an individual’s state of health, fitness, life style and work habits.
When assessing MSI risk factors at work it is beneficial to evaluate your own personal risk factors that may play a part in musculoskeletal injury.
Signs, Symptoms and Stages of MSI
Musculoskeletal Injuries are identified through common signs and symptoms. A person who is experiencing an MSI may experience one, many or no symptoms at all. Each individual is unique.
Signs and symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually over time. Below lists the observable signs and symptoms of MSI.
Stages of Musculoskeletal Injuries
If left untreated, Musculoskeletal Injuries may progress to have a greater impact on functioning and overall well being. The table to the right shows the progression of MSI in stages if the injury cycle is not disrupted.
Stage 1: Discomfort for weeks / months. Signs, symptoms are easily reversible with rest.
Stage 2: Discomfort lasts for months / years. Symptoms occur more quickly, last longer and work becomes difficult to perform.
Stage 3: Symptoms are usually always present. Sleep is consistently disrupted and all activities throughout the day are affected and recovery becomes more difficult.