Musculoskeletal disorders

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) remain the most common workplace health problem in Switzerland and the EU. They result in considerable sick leave and work absenteeism. The associated costs must be borne not only by the employees and employers affected, but also by society and the economy as a whole. It is therefore important that companies take measures to ensure that employees’ performance, health and safety are maintained. MSDs are health problems caused by overuse or misuse of muscles, tendons, joints and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. MSDs are more common in older age. MSDs in the workplace can be caused by, for example, repetitive movements, extreme and static postures or lifting heavy objects. They can lead to pain, reduced mobility and impaired performance, and in the worst case can cause permanent damage. It is important to minimise the risks of MSDs in the workplace by taking appropriate measures.

Common complaints

Dry eyes, eye pain and impaired vision are common complaints that can occur particularly during extended computer screen usage. The causes can be found in the lighting conditions, screen height, incorrect glasses or room climate. There is also a connection between poor visibility and head, neck and shoulder complaints.
Vocally stressful occupations (teachers, singers, service occupations, etc.) can lead to voice disorders that cause symptoms such as hoarseness and vocal fatigue. The causes can lie in the working environment, posture, breathing technique, use of breaks and much more. The aim of voice ergonomics is to prevent or reduce voice problems and maintain the ability to work in voice-intensive occupations.
Pain and tension in the head, neck and shoulder area can be triggered by poor visual conditions, incorrect visual aids, posture (e.g. severe bending or stretching), the settings of work equipment (e.g. screen or desk height), the room climate (e.g. draughts) as well as psychosocial strain and stress. Addressing these factors in combination with physiotherapeutic treatment, including a personal training programme, have already helped many sufferers.
Tendinitis, tennis elbow, impingement (shoulder impingement syndrome), carpal tunnel syndrome, RSI syndrome (repetitive strain injury) and mouse arm are all consequences that often result from incorrect behaviour and unfavourable conditions at the workplace. The ergonomic mouse as a solution does not exist, nor does a generic training programme or a one-off treatment. There is no single solution for everyone. You need to take a closer look and find the personal solution and treatment for your complaints.
The reasons for back pain are as varied as its symptoms. It is now known that sitting, itself, or a “bad” posture is not a direct risk for back pain. Psychosocial risk factors such as stress, on the other hand, can play an important role and, in combination with frequent bending or heavy lifting, often lead to discomfort or increased pain. Experience has shown that changes in working conditions and behaviour alone can bring great relief; those affected can get through their daily work routine better and pain-free. If a regular training programme can also be implemented, the chances of improvement are significantly increased.
If the complaints involving the lower extremities (legs and feet) are related to work, extreme postures such as kneeling or squatting a lot, standing or running for long periods of time, or even poor footwear are often the causes of these complaints. Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip is one of the most common diagnoses and is related to the above factors. Adequate physiotherapy in combination an individual training programme and information about the development and selfmanagement of complaints in everyday life are consistent with current guidelines and show the greatest effectiveness. This applies not only to osteoarthritis, but also to other leg and foot complaints including varicose veins.
Sitting or standing all day can increase the risk of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. By raising awareness of these risks in the workplace, we can work together to develop simple solutions to incorporate more movement into everyday working life.
We recognize that musculoskeletal complaints are often linked with psychosocial pressures, such as stress, lack of support or organisational factors in the workplace. Therefore, we take these aspects into account in our assessments, interventions and treatments.