There has been a lot of interest in the group of disorders termed "work related upper limb disorders" or WRULD because it is thought to be increasingly prevalent in the work place. Research conducted into this disorder tends to be occupation-specific. Radiographers play a very important role in the delivery of health care in many countries…
Hopefully, alleviation of this condition among radiographers will lead to increased productivity. It is hoped that this research would add a little to the body of knowledge that already exists concerning WRULD in radiographers.
The United Stated Bureau of Labour Statistics defines work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD) as "injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage and spinal discs associated with exposure to risk factors in the work place." (Bureau of Labour Statistics News, 2001). Disorders caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents and other accidents are excluded. In the year 2001, about sixty-five percent of all work related illnesses were attributable to WRMD and these disorders were responsible for about a third of all lost workday illnesses (Bureau of Labour Statistics News, 2001). These statistics underlie the importance of WRULD in the workplace. According to Palmer and Cooper (2005) "WRULD, comprise a heterogeneous group of conditions - 165 in all according to a report by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The majority of these are ill-defined with natural histories that are rather loosely characterised. In some instances there is dispute as to whether a recognised clinical entity exists at all; in others it is the epithet 'work-related' that generates strong opinions, reflected in several contradictory legal rulings."
Palmer and Cooper (2005) also report that the Health and Safety Executive estimated that in 2004-/5 Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders that included 450,000 people with back pain and 375,000 with neck and upper limb disorders cost British society about 5.7 billion pounds sterling. The scope of the problem then is quite obvious.
More data is needed to determine the impact of WRULD in the workplace. Among radiographers the rate of reporting such workplace injuries may be an underestimate since healthcare workers in general tend to underemphasize health problems. A high prevalence of WRULD ...
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