Back pain, muscle pain, joint … musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are currently the leading cause of absenteeism from work. Their prevention and management are essential both for the welfare of employees and employers.
The musculoskeletal disorders are common
Very common, MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) represent the number one problem in the field of occupational health since they appear as the leading cause of absenteeism. Whether back pain, muscle or joint pain, MSDs cause long-term absences, but also harmful to the worker at the company.
TMS: all concerned
The musculoskeletal disorders are not saving indeed any field of activity. Of course, manual occupations are particularly at risk, especially when it involves heavy physical work. However, office workers are not immune. Thus, according to data of 2009.17% of European workers are exposed to vibration from hand tools or machinery for at least half their working time, 33% to painful or tiring positions, 23% port and moving heavy loads, and 46% to repetitive movements of the hand or arm. Overall, an estimated further that about 31% of European works on a computer, with the risk of poor posture as we know it.
Stress and MSDs
In most cases, the musculoskeletal disorders are undoubtedly related to physical causes. However, it is important to note that the stress factor plays a significant role. The little job satisfaction, its monotony, its disproportionate requirements or the limited freedom of choice are all factors that can cause deep unease. But if the psychological consequences of this situation are well known (depression, “burnout” …), is less known that it also related MSDs. To cope, it is necessary to consider the physical aspect but also psychological.
Prevention and treatment of MSDs
To prevent MSDs, it is essential to offer the worker a suitable environment, both in terms of practice (flexible materials) that the organization (time, workload, variety of tasks …). Workers must also be properly informed about MSDs. A persistent back pain should such power be recognized and treated as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is detected, the better it will be treated, the faster the work could be repeated. It is shown that a prolonged absence tends to initiate a vicious cycle of pain, absenteeism and discouragement. The general practitioner and occupational physician obviously an essential role to play. It is they who will assist the worker to identify the causes of MSDs and practical ways to address them. Finally, remember that at the individual level, the practice of moderate physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle help prevent pain and stress.