Epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders due to biomechanical overload

Ergonomics. 1998 Sep;41(9):1253-60. doi: 10.1080/001401398186298.


The link between occupation and musculoskeletal disorders has been focused on in numerous research projects, ranging from those simply observing the different pathological findings reported among workers performing particular tasks, down to the latest studies actually quantifying the 'exposure' of workers to physical and psychosocial stimuli. For some disorders and certain tissues, it has been reported that specific types of work-related exposure are associated with the development of musculoskeletal pathologies, and that the relative risks for certain types of occupational exposure can be extremely high. This has been proven in relation to tendinitis of the shoulder and hand-wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as several localized aspecific musculoskeletal symptoms, such as pain. For other pathologies, the studies reported contradictory results. This is the case for lateral epicondylitis and cervical radiculopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Shoulder
  • Tendinopathy / epidemiology
  • Tennis Elbow / epidemiology
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology
  • Wrist