Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs) result in persistent pain, loss of functional capacity, and work disability, but their initial diagnosis is difficult because they are mainly based on complaints of pain and other symptoms.
WRMDs are very difficult to define within traditional disease classifications.
Since the functional aspects of WRMDs seem to be influenced by the perception of pain, it would be useful to investigate the extent to which the functional factors evaluated through ODQ (disability) and WAI (ability), and objective factors (sick leave and clinical examination) correlate with other factors that are supposedly more subjective, such as the reporting of symptoms and the perception of pain.
WRMDs arise from the arm and hand movements such as bending, straightening, gripping, holding, twisting, clenching, and reaching (Figures 1 and 2).
Ergonomic WRMD risk factors such as the frequency of repetitive motions and the duration of exposure are directly tied to the work pace and workload requirements (work standards) established by managers.
Overtime influences exposure to WRMD risk factors at a time when the employee might be fatigued and unable to work at peak efficiency.
Recent studies indicate potential links among work organization, job stress, and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs).
There has recently been interest in the role of occupational stress in the causation and aggravation of upper-extremity work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs; Moon, 1993; Moon & Sauter, 1996).
History of the WRMD before joining the PT profession
Prevalence of the WRMD after joining the PT profession
Out of 69 respondents reporting to suffer from the WRMD, most of the respondents, 35 (51%) reported to have pain in the lower back region, 12 (17%) had pain in the neck region, 8 (12%)--in the shoulder region; 7 (10%)--in the upper back region and 5 (7%) in hands.
Out of 69 respondents who reported to develop the WRMD after joining the PT profession, 27 (39%) PTs reported that they were unable to practise their daily activities involving bending, stooping, etc.