Upper Extremity

Definition - What does Upper Extremity mean?

The term upper extremity is an anatomical term referring to those body parts comprising the upper limbs. Upper extremity can include the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, and hand. The upper extremities are particularly vulnerable to repetitive motion injuries and injuries from poor posture. The term upper limb is sometimes used to refer to the body's upper extremity.

WorkplaceTesting explains Upper Extremity

The term upper extremity is employed in anatomy to assist in the location and identification of body parts. The body's upper extremity includes the shoulder's clavicle and scapula as well as the parts of the arm. Altogether these parts of the body are referred to as the upper limb. The chest, neck, and other parts of the body's trunk are not considered parts of the upper extremity.

The muscles and joints of the upper extremity are involved in many workplace tasks. Often these tasks are repetitive or require intense exertion that can result in injury.

Examples of upper extremity or upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSDs) include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and epicondylitis (commonly called Tennis Elbow). Tasks that require awkward postures or expose employees to vibration, cold temperatures, or direct mechanical pressure may also trigger the development of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders.

Failure to provide adequate recovery time is also a risk factor for the development of musculoskeletal disorders.

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