All you need to know about MSDs

Musculoskeletal affects our muscles, joints, and skeleton in many ways. There are many factors causing MSDs, like poor posture, injuries, and arthritis. In this post, we are to provide you with the most practical information regarding MSDs. So, if you are involved with MSDs and want to learn more about them, this post is for you.

Table of Contents

What is MSD?

Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries to the musculoskeletal system. These disorders are caused by many different factors and divide into different types. Musculoskeletal disorders can affect nerves, muscles, tendons, and joints. These disorders at first show symptoms like pain and discomfort; if they are prevented, they can lead to back pain, shoulder pain, lumbar sprain, tendonitis, and bursitis.

Main causes of MSDs

As mentioned before, musculoskeletal disorders affect joints, bones, muscles, and alignments. The causes of MSDs vary from person to person. The leading causes of MSDs go as follows:


This condition results from the weakening of bones when the body loses bone tissues. As people age, they are at a higher risk of broken bones. According to recent studies, women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, and 25 percent of women aged over 65 are diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Bone and joint problems

Bone and joint problems are associated with other diseases like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and genetic disorders.


Arthritis is a common disorder and can sometimes be debilitating. Deterioration of cartilage leads to pain, swelling, and movement problems. There are many different types of arthritis. Joint and other tissue inflammation causes rheumatoid.


Some types of cancer can result in MSDs. For instance, blood cancer can cause abnormalities in bone tissues.

The most common symptoms of MSDs

People with MSD often show different symptoms. Some complain that their entire body is in pain, while others feel like they have been pulled or overworked. The most common signs of MSD include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disorders
  • Muscle twitches
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Burning sensation in muscles
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty moving

MSD among dentists

Dental professionals are often at high risk of musculoskeletal disorders due to their awkward working posture. Dentists need to be aware of the potential risks of their poor posture and the steps they can take to prevent it. Commonly affected body areas among dentists include the neck, shoulder, arms, lower back, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. MSD often happens after an accident, but when it comes to dentistry, repetitive movement is the main cause of this disorder.

Types of musculoskeletal pain

Musculoskeletal disorders refer to pain in the muscles, bones, nerves, and tendons. This disorder falls into different types. The most common affected areas of MSD include the following:


Myalgia is muscle pain in soft tissues that connect muscles and bones. Many factors like injury, infection, tumour, loss of blood flow, illness, spasm, and some medications can lead to myalgia.

Tendon and ligament pain

Ligaments connect bones and tendons. Overusing bones and tendons and sudden movement can cause pain in these areas.

Joint pain

Pain in joints can result in swelling, stiffness, and a limited range of motion which are symptoms of arthritis. Those with arthritis sometimes develop chronic pain, which affects their quality of life.

Nerve compression pain

The conditions that put pressure on the nerve can cause nerve compression pain. In other words, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and tarsal tunnel syndrome are the main factors causing nerve compression pain.

Back pain

Back pain has no specific reason. Many factors can lead to back pain, like poor posture habits, injury, illness, disc fracture, inflammation, and muscle strain. It may also come from other conditions like infection and spinal lesions.

Chest pain

Musculoskeletal pain in the chest comes in different forms. Inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage is an example of this disorder. Many factors, like not getting enough oxygen, digestive issues, panic attacks and lung blood clots, can cause chest pain.

Types of MSD

Musculoskeletal disorders affect different body parts and can be caused by sudden movement, lifting something, and repetitive movements. The severity of MSD varies depending on its type. It sometimes leads to discomfort and interferes with your daily activities. Musculoskeletal disorder falls into different types. This disorder includes arthritis, degenerative disc disease, tendon strain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout, osteoporosis, tendonitis, bone fractures, and fibromyalgia.

How is MSD diagnosed?

As musculoskeletal disorders can have many different reasons, your doctor takes through your medical history. Your doctor will also touch the affected area to find the pain’s source. The doctor may prescribe the following tests to figure out the cause of your pain:

  • MRI scans to find the problems of soft tissues
  • Blood tests to look for signs of inflammation
  • Joint fluid testing to diagnose infections
  • CT scan to find bone-related issues

MSD treatment

In most cases, MSD can be treated. Different types of therapies can be used to treat people with MSD. The kind of treatment your doctor considers depends on the cause of your pain. Anti-inflammatories medication may be used for some patients. Indeed, medications increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine. Surgery is often used as the last resort when other methods don’t work. Joint replacement, laminectomy, cartilage repair, and arthroscopy are the most prevalent surgeries for MSD treatment.

Lifestyle modification is a good option for those who do not have severe MSD. If MSD is caused by injuries, your doctor will recommend resting until the affected area heals. Ice and heat compresses can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

How to prevent MSD?

MSDs occur in various body parts, but the most affected area is the back. Preventing MSD is less costly than managing it after it happens. MSD can easily be prevented by using the following tips:

  • Warm up before exercising
  • Change your posture every 30 minutes
  • Stop activities that may cause pain
  • If you notice early symptoms of MSDs, take serious steps to prevent them.
  • Try to adopt good posture habits
  • Try to use arms and muscles for lifting instead of bending your back
  • Do not lift heavy things and call for help for heavy loads

Last Word

To sum up, injury is the most common cause of MSD. If you notice early symptoms of MSD that don’t improve after a few weeks, you should go to a specialist. This post discussed MSD, from its early signs to treatment methods. If you are involved with MSD and want to improve your information regarding MSD, we hope you find this article practical.

Frequently asked questions

The most important risk factors of MSDs include poor posture, frequent movement, and tissue injuries.

Physical therapy, exercise program, and medication can help treat musculoskeletal pain.

Yes, if you don’t take serious steps to prevent musculoskeletal disorders, it can affect your quality of life.

Difficulty moving, redness, and swelling are signs of musculoskeletal injury.

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