Musculoskeletal (MSK) Solutions for Your Workforce: How to Prevent and Address Aches and Pains

Musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries represent a common problem for many employers, resulting in over $2 billion spent on workers’ compensation costs for work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities, like carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator cuff tendinitis. In addition, low back injuries alone account for 27% of all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work. Although MSK conditions are often associated with industrial workplaces, members in any setting can benefit from having MSK solutions easily accessible.

What is MSK healthcare?

MSK healthcare includes services designed to prevent, identify, and treat injuries of the musculoskeletal system. These services can be delivered by a range of providers, including physical therapists, chiropractors, injury prevention specialists, and many more.

In addition to treating musculoskeletal conditions in an efficient and cost-effective manner, MSK solutions can be offered independently or as the perfect complement to other health services. For example, many behavioral health conditions are correlated with the musculoskeletal system, so members utilizing behavioral health services might also benefit from the relaxation techniques of acupuncture. Occupational health services are even more impactful paired with musculoskeletal services to prevent or address injuries at work.

Many MSK solutions can be delivered virtually. For example, at-home ergonomics assessments are delivered through video to help members prevent discomfort in their work-from-home space. A combination of digital and physical MSK solutions ensures care is available to all members, regardless of where they are located.

What solutions does MSK healthcare include?

Musculoskeletal interventions provided by licensed specialists can include:

  • Physical Therapy – Providing convenient access to one-on-one injury treatment and prevention care that facilitates improved compliance, better health outcomes, and lower costs.
  • Chiropractic – Using holistic, integrative methods to treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions through comprehensive evaluation, chiropractic adjustments, and rehabilitative procedures.
  • Acupuncture – A key part of integrative medicine, acupuncturists incorporate a holistic approach that is time-tested to relieve acute and chronic pain, stress, anxiety and more​.
  • Occupational Therapy – Leveraging specialized knowledge of upper extremity anatomy, biomechanics, and function to treat pain or injury affecting the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand.
  • Injury Prevention Specialist – Proactively analyzes tasks for potential ergonomic risk factors and facilitates early intervention strategies to prevent and manage member discomfort.

Additional integrated MSK programs for employees delivered by cross-functional providers include:

  • Ergonomics – Optimizing performance and productivity on the job by implementing solutions to prevent musculoskeletal discomfort and injuries before they happen.
  • Early Intervention Program – Developing OSHA-compliant countermeasures to help reduce and avoid injuries and identify risk factors associated with specific jobs or tasks.
  • Job Function Testing – Offering recommendations for job placement based on the essential elements of the job tasks to reduce the risk of future injury and to set up members for success.
  • Work Hardening and Conditioning – Helping members build strength, coordination, balance, or endurance for a role by simulating the essential functions of the job.

What are the benefits of MSK solutions for employees?

Early intervention focus

Musculoskeletal injuries are expensive, but often preventable if identified early. By intervening at the first mention of pain or discomfort, MSK providers can get ahead of significant injuries and manage them appropriately. Providers aim to get members back to their jobs and activities as soon as possible through customized musculoskeletal care and return to work strategies.

Less time out of work

Fewer injuries and faster recoveries mean employees spend less time away from work, potentially missing pay, and more time spent enjoying everyday activities. This also benefits employers who save on indirect costs incurred from employees missing work. Over the past year, Premise Health MSK clinicians have, on average, resolved MSK pain and related symptoms in three fewer visits than community-based clinicians, highlighting both the effectiveness and efficiency of their clinical care.

Whole person approach

MSK goes beyond muscles and bones and looks at the whole person to address barriers and issues that would benefit from more holistic care. Wellness exams and customized programs ensure every member finds balance that supports peak performance while optimizing functional outcomes.

With all the options available for musculoskeletal solutions, you can create a custom offering for your population based on the services that would benefit them the most and enjoy the advantages of injury prevention and management and the resulting cost savings for your organization.

Taking a comprehensive approach to musculoskeletal services, Premise Health is here to help you find the right solution for your population. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you today.

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