Journal of Ergonomics Research

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Perspective, J Ergon Res Vol: 6 Issue: 2

An Overview on Musculoskeletal Disorders: Its Causes and Risk Factors

Radovan Brzozowski*

1Department of Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Victoria Hospital, London, Canada

*Corresponding Author: Radovan Brzozowski,
Department of Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Victoria Hospital, London, Canada

Received date: 30 May, 2023, Manuscript No. JEOR-23-107561;

Editor assigned date: 02 June, 2023, PreQC No. JEOR-23-107561 (PQ);

Reviewed date: 16 June, 2023, QC No. JEOR-23-107561;

Revised date: 23 June, 2023, Manuscript No. JEOR-23-107561 (R);

Published date: 30 June, 2023 DOI: 10.4172/JEOR.1000133

Citation: Brzozowski R (2023) An Overview on Musculoskeletal Disorders: Its Causes and Risk Factors. J Ergon Res 6:2.


Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are a group of conditions that affect the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other supporting structures of the body. These disorders encompass a wide range of health issues, from acute injuries to chronic conditions that can significantly impact a person's quality of life and productivity. MSDs are a common health concern worldwide, affecting millions of people in various occupations and age groups.

Causes and risk factors

MSDs often result from a combination of factors, with both occupational and non-occupational causes contributing to their development. Some of the primary causes and risk factors of MSDs include:

Repetitive movements: Frequent repetition of certain movements, such as typing, lifting, or using handheld tools, can strain muscles and lead to MSDs.

Awkward postures: Prolonged or frequent adoption of awkward postures, like bending, twisting, or reaching, can place undue stress on the musculoskeletal system.

Forceful exertions: Engaging in activities that require excessive force, such as heavy lifting or carrying, can lead to muscle strains and joint injuries.

Inadequate rest and recovery: Failure to allow sufficient time for rest and recovery between activities can exacerbate the risk of MSDs.

Poor ergonomics: Incorrect workstation setups or improper use of tools can contribute to the development of MSDs.

Age and gender: Certain MSDs, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, have higher prevalence rates among older individuals and women.

Obesity: Excess body weight can strain the musculoskeletal system and increase the risk of MSDs.

Common types of musculoskeletal disorders

Back pain: One of the most prevalent MSDs, back pain can be caused by various factors, including muscle strain, herniated discs, and poor posture.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: This condition results from compression of the median nerve in the wrist, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers.

Tendinitis: Inflammation of tendons, usually due to overuse or repetitive movements, leads to pain and limited joint mobility.

Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder where the body's immune system attacks the joints, leading to inflammation and joint damage.

Rotator cuff Injuries: Tears or inflammation in the muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, commonly caused by repetitive overhead movements.

Herniated discs: Displacement of the intervertebral discs in the spine, which can compress nerves and cause pain and numbness.

Preventative measures

Given the significant impact of MSDs on individuals and workplaces, prevention plays a crucial role in mitigating these conditions. Implementing the following strategies can help reduce the risk of MSDs:

Ergonomic assessments: Conduct regular ergonomic assessments of workstations to ensure proper alignment and reduce strain on the musculoskeletal system.

Workstation modifications: Adjust chairs, desks, computer screens, and other equipment to encourage neutral body positions during work tasks.

Training and education: Educate employees about proper lifting techniques, posture, and the importance of taking breaks to prevent overexertion.

Workload management: Implement job rotation or task-sharing to minimize repetitive motions and provide opportunities for rest and recovery.

Regular exercise: Encourage employees to engage in regular physical activity, including strength training and flexibility exercises, to strengthen muscles and joints.

Weight management: Promote healthy eating habits and weight management programs to reduce the strain on the musculoskeletal system.

Early intervention: Encourage employees to report any discomfort or pain promptly, allowing for early intervention and treatment.

Musculoskeletal disorders are a significant public health concern that affects people of all ages and occupations. By understanding the causes, risk factors, and common types of MSDs, we can take proactive steps to prevent these conditions and promote musculoskeletal health. Creating ergonomic work environments, promoting regular exercise, and raising awareness about proper posture and lifting techniques are key components in reducing the prevalence and impact of MSDs. Through collective efforts and a commitment to prevention, we can enhance the well-being of individuals and foster healthier, more productive workplaces.

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