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Ergonomics. 1995 Jul;38(7):1408-23.

Upper limb musculoskeletal disorders in highly repetitive industries: precise anatomical physical findings.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Physical assessment of 146 female workers in highly repetitive jobs found 54% to have evidence of musculoskeletal disorders in the upper limb that are potentially work-related. Many workers had multiple problems, and many were affected bilaterally (33% of workers). Muscle pain and tenderness was the largest problem, both in the neck/shoulder area (31%) as expected and in the forearm/hand musculature (23%), a previously unreported site. Most forearm muscle problems were found on the extensor side. Carpal tunnel syndrome was the most common form of neuritis with 16 people affected (7 people affected bilaterally). De Quervain's tenosynovitis and wrist flexor tendinitis were the most commonly found tendon disorders in the distal forearm (12 people affected for each diagnosis). The results suggest that exposure should be measured bilaterally. They also suggest that muscle tissue is highly vulnerable to overuse. Stressors that affect muscle tissue, such as static loading, should be studied in the forearm as well as in the shoulder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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