Definition of Repetitive Motion Injury or Disorder

There are several different types of repetitive motion or musculoskeletal disorders and there are different symptoms for each one. An excellent Web site, hosted and supported by Carnegie Mellon University, is a great place to start learning about these matters.

Types of Injuries

The following types of injuries are often associated with repetitive motion injuries:.

What kinds of injuries occur in the office?

Most problems that occur in the office are caused by physical stress, such as prolonged awkward positions, repetitive motions, and overuse. These injuries can cause stress and strain on muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, or spinal discs. Symptoms include fatigue and hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, neck, or back pain. Employees may also be at risk for conditions such as tendinopathy and bursitis, which are caused by overuse and repetitive motions. Ultimately, physical stress decreases overall well-being and may cause chronic health problems.

The U. S. Department of Labor defines a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) as an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. MSDs do not include disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, or similar accidents

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has seen an increase in calls about work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Such calls are now second only to questions about chemical hazards, and most callers are associated with small and medium sized businesses. Because musculoskeletal disorders have been associated with non-work activities (e.g. sports) and medical conditions (e.g. renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis), it is difficult to determine the proportion due solely to occupation.

For example, in the general population, non-occupational causes of low back pain are probably more common than work place causes. However, even in these cases, the musculoskeletal disorders may be aggravated by work-place factors. The statistics from are very interesting:

Injuries Musculoskeletal Disorders
Number Rate Number Rate
Total: 1,183,500 127.8 357,160 38.6
Gender: Male 775,900 142.8 222,880 41.0
Female 403,740 106.4 133,710 35.2





Injuries Musculoskeletal Disorders
Number Rate Number Rate
Office and administrative support
83,320 54.3 26,960 17.6