Signs and Symptoms

Early identification of musculoskeletal disorders (abbrev. MSD) is the key to prevention and resolution. Some common signs and symptoms of MSDs may include, but are not limited to,

  • swelling
  • redness
  • reduced range of motion
  • reduced strength
  • pain
  • numbness
  • tingling or burning
  • fatigue
  • stiffness

If any symptoms are experienced, try to identify the cause. Ask yourself,

  • Are there any tasks I do repetitively or with high force?
  • Are there any postures or positions I am in for long periods of time?
  • Have I begun any new activities or tasks?
  • Are there any activities outside my job that may be contributing (playing sports, poor sleep)?

Stages of MSD Progression

Stage 1

  • experiencing some signs and symptoms or discomfort
  • job performance is not affected
  • discomfort goes away with rest

Stage 2

  • more frequent signs and symptoms are experienced  during and away from work
  • job performance may be affected
  • signs and symptoms do not completely go away with rest

Stage 3

  • constant signs and symptoms
  • unable to perform job
  • risk of permanent injury

MSD identification and intervention in stages 1 and 2 are vital to avoiding permanent issues. Good ergonomic practices help to prevent the development or worsening of MSDs. Additional benefits include improved comfort, job performance, productivity, and morale.