What are Musculoskeletal Disorders?

Musculoskeletal disorders (also called MSDs) are injuries of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs. MSDs usually do not happen from sudden accidents, like a slip, trip, or fall, but happen gradually, over time.

Other names for Musculoskeletal Disorders are:

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Repetitive Motion Disorders
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries

Medical terms used to describe MSDs to various parts of the body include low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, trigger finger, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpet layers' knee, and degenerative disc disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders & Sports

Tennis elbow, rotator cuff injury, heel injuries, lower back problems, and frequent knee pain due to the many sports based on running - all of these injuries impact the careers of professional athletes and cause discomfort for "Weekend Warriors" as well.

Many physiatrists serve as consultants to professional and college sports teams and work with all athletes in rehabilitating injuries. PM&R plays a strong role in designing strength and conditioning programs to enhance performance and prevent injuries. Treatment of injuries may include physical therapy, exercise, braces or orthotics, and sometimes, selective nerve injections.