A recent study indicated that approximately half of US citizens suffer from musculoskeletal disorders – i.e. related to joints, muscles, tendons and affecting the limbs, neck and back – costing an estimated 213 billion US dollars a year. The problem is far from being unique to the US, and workplaces are a major contributor.
Based on research from the UK, almost half of all work related injuries are musculoskeletal. Often these lead to long term and chronic disorders such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain, which in turn bring severe financial, psychological and social consequences.
A recent paper from the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention highlighted a number of key challenges affecting those suffering from work-related musculoskeletal injury; these include problems with the current healthcare system, the limitations of workplaces, and the immediate emotional distress of injury. Changes in policy and workplace culture are also considered in the paper.