MSD prevention

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) refer to injuries of the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues, including back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain. They are also known as repetitive strain injuries and cumulative trauma disorders. IWH conducts a wide range of research on MSDs—exploring how often they occur, what work-related factors contribute to them, their treatment and functional assessment, and the system- and workplace-level prevention and return-to-work programs that can help prevent and manage them.

At Work articles

Setting up a temporary home office. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 100, Spring 2020.
PREMUS 2016 brings together MSD prevention scientists and practitioners to share evidence. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
Eight safety leading indicators for the construction worksite . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
'Too much standing hurts, too' . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
Forceful repetition a carpal tunnel risk factor. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
PREMUS 2016 keynote speakers tackle leading-edge issues in MSD prevention. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 83, Winter 2016.
Understanding MSDs with sex/gender lens. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
Mark your calendars for PREMUS 2016 . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 80, Spring 2015.
Online office ergonomics training program now available from IWH. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 80, Spring 2015.
Preventing upper extremity MSDs: What the latest research says. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 78, Fall 2014.

Scientific publications

McLeod CB, Reiff E, Maas E, Bultmann U. Identifying return-to-work trajectories using sequence analysis in a cohort of workers with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2018;44(2):147-155. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3701.
Cullen KL, Irvin E, Gensby U, Jennings P, Hogg-Johnson S, Kristman VL, Laberge M, McKenzie D, Newnam S, Shourie S, Steenstra I, Van Eerd D, Amick B. Effective workplace-based return-to-work interventions: a systematic review update. Institute for Work & Health; 2017.
Van Eerd D, Munhall C, Irvin E, Rempel D, Brewer S, van der Beek AJ, Dennerlein JT, Tullar J, Skivington K, Pinion C, Amick B. Effectiveness of workplace interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and symptoms: an update of the evidence. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016;73(1):62-70. doi:10.1136/oemed-2015-102992.
Tullar J, Brewer S, Amick B, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Pompeii L, Wang A, Van Eerd D, Gimeno D, Evanoff B. Occupational safety and health interventions to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms in the health care sector. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2010;20(2):199-219. doi:10.1007/s10926-010-9231-y.

Research summaries

What workplace interventions help workers with MSDs, pain and mental health conditions return to work?. Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, December 2019.
What workplace programs help prevent upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders?. Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, October 2016.
Pain and long-term absences among Canadian nurses with MSIs. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2013.
Changes in physiotherapy use for MSDs highlight inequality of access. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2011.
Reducing musculoskeletal symptoms in health-care workers. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2010.
Which workplace interventions are most effective in preventing upper extremity MSDs?. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2010.
Are ergonomic interventions cost-effective?. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2010.
Do workplace programs protect upper extremity musculoskeletal health?. Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, February 2009.
Manufacturer saves money with participatory ergonomic program. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2009.
Heavy workloads linked to mental health, MSD treatment in health-care workers. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, January 2009.

Impact

Ontario prevention system produces MSD toolkit. Impact case study: Institute for Work & Health, September 2010.