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Avoiding Repetitive Strain Injuries There are few injuries as annoying and potentially debilitating as repetitive strain injuries, also called musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). Even if they don't lead to debilitation, they can make life difficult and unpleasant. Repetitive strain injuries affect the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and nerves.Most of the time, when work-related, repetitive strain injuries develop over a period of time from the pace and monotony of the work itself, andthey can also result from injuries sustained from car accidents such as fractures and dislocations. Repetitive Strain Injuries can result from myriad things such as handling heavy loads improperly, poor posture, and, of course, repetitive movements. Lower back disorders, including spinal disc problems like hernias, muscle, and soft tissue injuries, are among some of the most debilitating.These injuries can come from poor working environments or just getting old. These disorders might lead to work loss or even the need for medical treatment, but even less serious injuries lead to a lessening of quality of life. Even minor aches and pains in the back and neck are especially difficult because they affect virtually all physical mobility, and in the worst cases, it's difficult to treat and recover from repetitive strain injuries. Repetitive strain injuries are a problem for everyone; for employees, they cause personal suffering and income loss; for the employer, they can slow down the work and reduce efficiency, and for the government, they can increase social security costs.

It can be hard to identify injuries caused from lifting, twisting, and bending the back, or even from static or awkward postures. 95% of lower back problems are given the label "non-specific" because of this. There's even increasing evidence that factors such as low job satisfaction can cause lower back problems, especially when there are physical factors. On the other hand, work-related neck and upper limb disorders often develop as a result of simple, non-strenuous repetitive actions, such as typing. Some of these disorders, such as carpal tunnel wrist syndrome, are easily recognized because of their prevalence, while with others it can be difficult to link the pain to a specific disorder.

Many repetitive strain injuries are easy to avoid by complying with safety routines and laws. Of course, employees have to be aware of the dangers and work to avoid them. For example, when lifting, correct handling techniques offer the most protection. Employees should plan and prepare before lifting and adopt a good technique when lifting the load. The employee should first clear the area of obstacles, know where to go, and be sure that s/he is working in tandem if a helper is involved. The back should be straight, the leg muscles should be used when lifting, and the load should be and remain as close to the body as possible. When pushing and pulling, the body's own weight should be used, and twisting and turning and bending of the back should be avoided. Basic ideas like this, which seem often, should always be implemented; even though they may require more preparation, they will pay off for the employee in the long run.

Avoiding repetitive strain injuries