If you’re a working person, then you’ve probably experienced the piercing pain in your neck or the jamming of your fingers. These are common complains of pain that occur due to a condition known as work-related musculoskeletal disorder or WMSD. A WMSD occurs due to practices pertaining to your work that cause excessive trauma to the body.
If you’re looking to understand this condition, then you’ve found the right place. In the discussion below, we’re going to get into the details of WMSD and see what the main types of the condition are:
Understanding Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder
A WMSD refers to the damaging of muscles, tendon or nerve tissue due to repetitive trauma caused by overuse of these body tissues. It develops overtime and occurs due to certain work practices, activities with awkward postures, for example. Also known by other names like repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), cumulative trauma disorders, overuse syndrome and many more, a WMSD is not the same as injuries of muscles, tendon or nerves that result from accidents.
3 common types of WMSD injuries
Muscle injuries are caused by the build-up of by-products produced by contracting muscles. By-products like lactic acid are produced when muscles contract, using chemical energy from sugars. These substances are then removed by our blood as the muscle continues to contract and relax. However, if a muscle remains contracted for a long period of time, the blood flow reduces and the by-products start to accumulate in the muscles. This leads to pain and irritation in the muscles, the severity of which depends on how long the muscle contraction lasts and the duration it takes for the muscles to get rid of those substances.
Tendons are tissues with bundles of fibres that attach muscles to bones. There are two types of tendons, tendons with sheath and tendons without sheath, around which the WMSDs occur.
Tendons with sheaths are generally those that are found in hands and wrists, and are covered in sheaths. Cells in the inner wall of these sheaths produce a fluid that allows the tendons to slip through the sheaths. When these tendons are inflicted with repetitive stress, like moving the hand excessively, they may experience a malfunction in the lubrication system. The cells may fail to produce sufficient fluid or the fluid quality may deteriorate. Consequently, there’ll be friction between the tendons and the sheaths, leading to swelling and inflammation of the surrounding area. Inflammation of the tendon is called tendonitis. Once the friction-episodes become too frequent, fibrous tissues can start to form and as the fibres thicken, the tendon movement may be hindered.
Found around the shoulders and neck, tendons without sheaths also experience a similar situation when they’re repeatedly put through trauma. These tendons have to pass through narrow areas between the bones and to make it easier for the bone to slide over the tendons; a sac called bursa, filled with lubricating fluid, aids the process. As the tendons become frequently subjected to trauma, the bursa inflames as a result of friction; thereby making movement difficult.
Nerves aid in carrying signals from the brain to other parts of the body, and vice versa. They’re surrounded by tissues of muscles, tendons and ligaments; overuse of which can lead to their inflammation. Swollen tissues around the nerves can squeeze or compress them, which leads to weakening of the muscles, numbness and sensation of pins and needles. Other effects may include poor circulation to extremities and skin-dryness.
If you feel like you experience WMSD frequently, then you should probably get professional help. Divergent Health Group in Calgary can provide you with quality neck and elbow pain treatment along with many other solutions like, chronic pain management and chiropractic treatments. Make health your primary priority and get an appointment now.