Did you know that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are currently the most common cause of long-term disability world-wide? Over the past decade the number of people suffering from MSDs has grown 25% and is expected to drastically increase with the number of ageing populations.
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Who is at risk for Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)?
- Are 30+ years old
- Have a sedentary lifestyle
- Not regularly exercising or stretching has been shown to negatively impact bones, joints, and muscles
- Have poor posture
- Play sports or have a physically demanding job
- Heavy physical movement has been shown to cause wear and tear to bones, joints, and muscles over time.
- Have a poor or unbalanced diet
- Have a family history of chronic MSDs (such as arthritis or osteoporosis)
- If you have a pre-existing health condition (such as diabetes)
- Use steroids
- Drink heavily
- Have abnormal hormone levels
- Use certain types of prescribed medication
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) consist of a variety of conditions affecting the muscles, bones, and joints. These conditions lead to minor or severe physical disabilities.
All major areas of the body can be affected by the markers of an MSD: pain, stiffness, swelling, and physical injury. Lower back pain is the most common MSD reported, but others include fibromyalgia, gout, tendinitis, osteoporosis, different forms of arthritis, and more. Although not common in young adulthood, prevention for MSDs in older age should start in early lifestyle choices.
A doctor’s visit should pinpoint the exact cause(s) for pain and discomfort associated with MSDs.
Can Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) be prevented? What can I do?
Healthy lifestyle habits can prevent or significantly reduce most MSD symptoms. They include…
- Strengthening exercises
- Having a balanced nutrient-rich diet
- Good posture
- Taking care when picking up heavy objects or performing other strenuous activities
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding smoking tobacco products
- Avoiding heavy alcohol intake
- Talking to your doctor about how your pre-existing condition or medication could impact your musculoskeletal system