Musculoskeletal Disorders and Office Ergonomics
Office Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders
By Jeanette Calara, PT, DPT, MBA, OCS, COMT, GCFP, COS-C
Musculoskeletal Disorders, MSDs, result from the following: 1. Repetition. Doing the same movement repeatedly in the same manner with infrequent break periods. Muscles are more susceptible to fatigue when holding a body part for a long period than muscles that move a body part around. 2. Any posture significantly different from neutral is a risk for musculoskeletal distress 3. Direct pressure on nerves or tendons can risk for musculoskeletal injuries. Exertions, no matter how small can cause stress if small muscles are involved. Abrupt, fast motions involving a jerk or snap.
4. Cold temperatures. 5. Vibration, from hand-held power tools to whole-body vibration as caused by driving heavy equipment.
Musculoskeletal disorders associated with workplace may include persistent pain, tingling, numbness, burning, or aching. The signs may be constant or may occur mostly after certain activities.
Musculoskeletal disorders MSDs: Associated with Occupation May include but not limited to the following 
1.Muscle Spasm: A spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.
2. Myalgia: is often caused by overuse, over-stretching of a muscle, or by stress. Cervical pain and cervical strain are most commonly related to frequent use of computer.
3. Muscle Strain: A strain is an injury to a muscle in which the muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching.
4. Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a painful, chronic muscle condition often associated with muscle trigger points.

5..Stenosing Tenosynovitis:is the irritation and roughening of the tendon surface and often leads to stiffness, snapping, and jerking motions when moving.
6. Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow occurs on the lateral or outer side of the elbow and is from bending the wrist to the outside, bending the wrist upwards and backwards or from straightening the fingers out.
7. Medial Epicondylitis or Golfers Elbow occurs on the medial or inner side of the elbow and is from bending the wrist down and gripping the fingers
8.Rotator Cuff tendonitis occurs at the shoulder and results from repeatedly reaching up too high or moving with the arms held out away from the body frequently. 
9. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an irritation of the medial nerve at the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling of the first three fingers and the thumb. This can occur from swelling of the wrist tendons or from fluid retention and other conditions.
10. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow and most often occurs from working with flexed or bent elbows.
Minimize Musculoskeletal Disorders by: 
Frequent but shorter breaks from repetitious work; Relax and observe proper posture. Don’t use your muscles to hold your fingers, hands or shoulders in a particular position. Keep your limbs and shoulders limp as much as possible, even during short pauses; Minimize contact with hard or sharp surfaces; Don’t use too much force- especially when ‘hitting’ the keys or squeezing the mouse; Move with an even motion. Avoid snapping the wrist or jerking against outside forces; Keep your hands and fingers warm. Consider gloves or even fingerless gloves.

Total MSD prevention involves ergonomics ergonomics education (changing work styles or habits), medical management (optimizing treatments and return-to-work procedures), and management (monitoring statistics to find the most hazardous jobs and working proactively). 
Consulting with a specialist physician and physical therapist is always recommended.
Musculoskeletal Disorders and Office Ergonomics
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Musculoskeletal Disorders and Office Ergonomics

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