Understanding the work related musculoskeletal disorders that workers are prone to
Repetitive, persistent, powerful, or uncomfortable exertions put workers at risk of injury. Temperature, vibration, gloves, and contact pressure are further danger concerns. The bigger the number of risk variables present, the greater the likelihood of an accident.
There is a reduced danger of harm when a worker does a powerful lift once rather than numerous forceful lifts every hour. Several risk factors for ergonomic injury are included in this blog along issues and risk of damage.
Using ergonomics principles may lower the risk of musculoskeletal problems at work. Work components that impact ergonomic risk factors include workstation design, equipment and tools, work environment, and work organization. Adjustable seating, hand tools at an angle, and a flexible work speed are all ergonomic design elements that needs some consideration when working.
Traditional illness categories have a tough time defining WMSDs. These conditions have been referred to as a variety of things, including:
- Repetitive motion injuries.
- Repetitive strain injuries.
- Cumulative trauma disorders.
- Occupational cervicobrachial disorders.
- Overuse syndrome.
- Regional musculoskeletal disorders.
- Soft tissue disorders.
The majority of the diagnoses for work related injuries aren’t properly named. For example, the name “repetitive strain injuries” implies that these ailments are caused by repetitive motion, yet uncomfortable postures also play a role. These two words are often used interchangeably. Without an agreement, the term “WMSD” is used here.
Understanding physical factors involved
A wide range of factors may lead to injuries, such as excessive effort, uncomfortable postures, quick work speed, inadequate rest time, vibration and freezing temperatures.
For example, bending the back increases the stress on spinal disc joints when lifting, handling, or lowering an object, compared to straightening the back. This means the body posture influences the muscles and joints involved in an activity and how much stress or force is tolerated or generated. Additionally, repetitive twisting and bending of the shoulders, wrists, hips, and knees may cause joint tension. As a result, lengthy or frequent job activities might be very stressful.
Muscle-tendon tension and fatigue may result from frequent movements (e.g., every few seconds) and lengthy periods. Exertional activity and stretching may cause damage to muscles and tendons if there is not enough time between them. Repetitive movements may have a negative influence on health if they are performed incorrectly or aggressively. Repetitive acts, for example, may have a significant impact on a person’s risk of injury.
Duration of motions
This is known as exposure duration when a person is exposed to a risk factor over an extended period. Long durations of repetitive action or usage of the same muscles raise the risk of general and local weariness throughout a workday. These are the kinds of jobs. Generally, as the amount of time spent working continuously grows, so does the amount of rest or recovery time needed.
Frequency of postures
Frequency is the number of recurrent exertions performed by a person over a specific period of time. In reality, as the frequency of the exercise rises, so does the speed of movement of the affected body part. In addition, the recovery time reduces as the frequency of effort rises, which raises the likelihood of general and local weariness with length.
A byproduct of muscular contraction is lactic acid, which is eliminated by the body’s circulatory system. A long-lasting muscular contraction lowers blood flow. This results in a buildup of waste products in the muscles due to a lack of excretion. Muscles become irritated and painful due to the buildup of these chemicals.
Muscle contractions and the length of time between activities for the muscles to expel the irritating chemicals affect how much pain they cause.
Muscles and bones are joined together by tendon fiber bundles.
Hand and wrist tendons with sheaths are shown here — often affected by repeated or frequent labor activities and uncomfortable postures, are two primary types of tendon illnesses. There are sheaths around the tendons of the hand where the tendon glides.
Finger tendons and their sheaths
The cells on the inner walls of the sheaths create a lubricating fluid that aids in the tendon’s movement. The lubricating system may fail if the hand is repeatedly or excessively moved. A lack of fluid or fluid with inadequate lubricating properties might result from this device’s operation.
An inflamed and swollen tendon is because of friction between the tendon and its sheath due to a malfunction of the lubrication mechanism. Repeated inflammation causes the formation of fibrous tissue. Thickening the tendon sheath with fibrous tissue results in decreased range of motion. Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath.
When a tendon sheath becomes inflamed, it may swell with lubricating fluid, resulting in a bump on the skin. A ganglion cyst is the medical term for this.
Sheathless tendons are prone to repeated action and uncomfortable positions, making them susceptible to injury. A tendon’s fibres might rip apart when it is repeatedly tightened. Inflammation results from the thickening and bumpiness of the tendon.
The word “tendonitis” refers to inflammation of the tendon as a whole. In the shoulder, for example, tendons are able to travel through a small gap between bones. In order to reduce friction, a lubricating fluid-filled sac called the bursa is injected between the tendons and bones.
As the tendons thicken and become more undulating, the bursa is exposed to a great deal of friction and gets inflamed. Bursitis describes inflammation of the bursa. Work-related musculoskeletal injuries and prevention is possible if diagnosed during early stages.
Muscle activity is controlled by impulses sent from the brain through nerves. They are also responsible for regulating internal activities like sweating and salivation and transmitting information about the body’s temperature, pain, and touch to the brain. Muscles, tendons and ligaments surround nerves. Swelling of the tissues surrounding nerves causes them to be squeezed or compressed, resulting in pain and numbness.
This is wrist in a natural position
Wrist showing symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Compressed nerves produce muscular weakness, “pins and needles” feelings, and numbness. Also possible are dry skin and impaired circulation to the extremities.
Physical, psychological, and psychosocial risk factors may all play a role in the development of WMDs. To fully grasp the implications for the company, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the psychosocial and physical aspects of occupational risk. Awkward postures and monotonous tasks should be the primary focus of inspecting the workplace. To assist your ergonomic issues, we, at The Port Physiotherapy and Massage can take care of occupational health issues. We provide ergonomists, occupational hygienists, nurses, and physicians in the clinic to help you with correct diagnosis and treatment.