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Muscular-Skeletal Disorders (MSDs) in Computer Users

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Naveera Saleem

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Muscular-Skeletal Disorders (MSDs) in Computer Users

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS):
Muscular-Skeletal Disorders (MSDs)
in Computer Users
by Team NC (Naveera, Saqib & Mairaj)

Muscular – Skeletal Disorders (MSDs) in Computer Users
Muscular-skeletal disorders (MSDs) consist of minor physical disabilities. This term is used to describe a variety of conditions that affect the muscles, bones, and joints. The severity of the MSD can vary. Pain and discomfort may interfere with everyday activities.
MSDs have also been called RSI or Repetitive Strain Disorders, CTD or Cumulative Trauma Disorders.

Some examples of MSDs include Muscle Sprain & Strain, Computer/TV Vision Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Good Computer Posture Checklist
Height adjustable seat
Lumber support
Screen at arms length
Top of screen no higher than your eyes
Wrists not at an angle for either keyboard or mouse.
Keyboard and Mouse should be close enough for your forearm, and both should be roughly next to each other without your forearm drifting off at an angle to strain to use the mouse.
Examples of Ergonomic Risk Factors
Awkward postures such as typing with bent wrists
Static postures (not enough movement)
Too much force when keying or using the mouse
The symptoms of MSDs may include pain, muscle fatigue, soreness, spasm, or numbness. If you have symptoms of MSDs which don’t improve after making ergonomic changes please seek appropriate medical advice.
Fatigue and Stress
Fatigue and Stress may be secondary to an MSD or other medical condition. It may be caused by poor job design, work organization, overworking, lack of job control on the part of the user, under utilization of skills, high speed repetitive working, or social isolation, or other psycho-social issues at the job. Many symptoms described by DSE (Display Screen Equipment) users reflect stress arising from their task. All of these factors have been linked with stress in DSE work, although clearly they are not unique to it.
Possible Causes
Most employees can use computers with little risk of discomfort or injury. However, improper work habits, poor ergonomics, or the presence of risk factors can increase the risk. Mainly Poor Ergonomics/ behaviours can increase your chances of developing an MSD.
A spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles, is sometimes accompanied by a sudden burst of pain, but is usually harmless and ceases after a few minutes.
A strain is an injury to a muscle in which the muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching. Strains are also known as pulled muscles. The equivalent injury to a ligament is a sprain.
Muscle Spasm:
Muscle Strain:
Myalgia means “muscle pain” and is often caused by overuse, over-stretching of a muscle, or by stress. Cervical Myalgia, neck tension syndrome and cervical strain are common examples related to computer work. These can occur if the work involves chronic tension, awkward postures or repeated bending of the neck.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an Irritation of the Median Nerve as it passes through the narrow Carpal Tunnel in the wrist. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling of the first three fingers and the thumb. This nerve irritation can occur from swelling of the wrist tendons or from fluid retention and other conditions.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) symptoms vary and may include; dry eyes, or red, itchy, watery eyes; fatigue, heaviness of the eyelids; and difficulty focusing the eyes. CVS does not cause eye damage, but can cause headaches, neck aches, and muscle spasms. Computers can be hard to read because the small dots that produce screen images are blurry around the edge, and are constantly being re-written. This forces the eye to continually refocus to keep images sharp. Excessively high monitor placement, wearing contact
lenses, and monitor “flicker” can make symptoms worse.
Important advice to avoid MSDs:
1.Keep moving and don’t maintain any fixed posture for more than a few moments. You need to move your body around a bit and not stay in a fixed position. Physiotherapists have suggested, humorously, that a seat with upturned pins on it is ideal :p… ensuring you didn’t there for long! Some large employers deliberately specify office seating with slightly harder seats to encourage more movement in the user.

2.Avoid working with your muscles tense. Your mouse and keyboard are major factors to get right. It is holding a tense posture for too long that causes MSDs.

3. Carry out desk exercises to maintain mobility and flexibility. In all cases, we advise you seek professional medical opinion (Doctor or Physiotherapist).
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