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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Occupational musculoskeletal disorders are frequently caused by ergonomic hazards in the workplace. Since the 1970s, this type of workplace injury has become an increasing problem to the nation's workforce. Workers in Harrisburg and other Pennsylvania cities are not immune to these dangers, which can cause lengthy work absences and even long-term disability.

Musculoskeletal disorders can occur from a wide variety of work-related tasks. Often, the worker does not realize he or she is suffering from an MSD as the symptoms develop gradually. MSD affects most soft tissue such as joints or tendons, frequently causing pain and other symptoms in these areas of the body:

-- Neck-- Back-- Shoulders-- Legs-- Arms, including fingers, wrists and hands

The most common work duties associated with musculoskeletal disorders include:

-- Manual labor-- Lifting heavy objects-- Repetitive movements-- Working in awkward positions for many hours-- Twisting movements-- Manufacturing and production-- Working in excessively cold conditions

Research into body stress and ergonomics has yielded a wealth of information about precisely what causes musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. While these causes range far and wide, some of the main factors include using excessive force, bending, twisting, grasping, excessive vibration and performing repetitive tasks.

Workers' compensation provides many financial benefits for those suffering from work-related MSDs. However, sometimes workers' comp is either out-of-reach or insufficient. In these cases, working with an attorney could yield significant improvements in attaining adequate financial recovery for victims of MSD. Another benefit of hiring an attorney is ensuring victims receive the proper treatment in order to recover from their injuries as quickly as possible.

Source: OSHA.gov, "Ergonomics: The Study of Work," accessed June 11, 2015

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