Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD)

Last updated: June 14, 2018

What Does Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Mean?

A musculoskeletal disorder is a condition affecting the body's muscle or skeletal system. Musculoskeletal disorders interfere with the body's ability to move freely and without pain. Musculoskeletal disorders may be caused by injuries, but often arise as a result of wear or damage over time. These are very common problems at many worksites with physical labor or repetitive tasks. A musculoskeletal disorder may sometimes be referred to by its abbreviation, MSD.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD)

Musculoskeletal disorders are said to affect half of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 65. A musculoskeletal disorder may effect the body's nerves, tendons, muscles, bones, vessels, or other part of the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal disorders do not include those related to acute injuries such as fractures or abrasions. Examples of MSDs include tendinitis, arthritis, rotator cuff injuries, ligament sprains, and degenerative disc disease. Musculoskeletal conditions often cause pain or limit motion.

MSDs may be caused or worsened by repetitive motion, overexertion, or awkward posture and poor ergonomics in the working environment. Musculoskeletal disorders may also be caused by natural wear and tear over time. Frequently caused by workplace injuries or stressors, MSDs account for 30% of all worker's compensation costs in the United States.


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