While experts disagree on whether work tasks alone can be the exact cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a new study by researchers at Temple University proves that a highly repetitive work task, a risk factor for WMSD, does in fact cause bone damage.
"Because multiple factors play a role in the development of WMSD, including work tasks, home activities, and medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, we studied work tasks alone to isolate their impact," said Ann Barr, P.T., Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy at Temple University and the studys lead author. "This information is critical in helping industry and medicine establish workplace guidelines to prevent WMSD."
The study, "Repetitive, Negligible Force Reaching in Rats Induces Pathological Overloading of Upper Extremity Bones," published in the November 11 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, is the third in a series conducted by a group of researchers at Temple Universitys College of Health Professions and School of Medicine. "Our studies have shown a direct relationship between repetitive, low force movement and the inflammation of muscles, bone, nerves and connective tissue typical of WMSD," said Barr.
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