Workplace Solutions to Back Pain, Shoulder Tendinitis, Tennis Elbow & Other Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD):
Search Icon

Learn about MSD and how to prevent them.

Introduction video 


About MSD

Worker lifting a box and holding his low back area to indicate he is experiencing pain

Musculoskeletal Disorders (or MSD) at work is an umbrella term for a number of injuries and disorders of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone and nerves. Many body areas can be affected. The low back is the most commonly affected, followed by the shoulders, neck, elbow, hands and wrists. Other terms with the same meaning as MSD include:

  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

  • Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD)

  • Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WMSD)

  • Musculoskeletal Injury (MSK or, MSI), and/or

  • Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS)

What is an MSD?

Symptoms of MSD can be different, depending on the specific MSD, but can include:

  • Pain with or without restriction in movement

  • Swelling and tenderness

  • Reduced range of motion and/or stiffness, and

  • Tingling and/or numbness

Workers should talk with their supervisor, manager or business owner about their pain at work and the possible causes. Pain that doesn’t disappear before the start of work the next day or continues over a weekend or results in an even longer break from work, should lead workers to speak up immediately.




MSD prevention site factsheet

What's New? 


We are working to continuously develop the MSD Prevention Guideline. Watch for new content, including more resources and case studies.



MSD prevention site factsheet



Download the factsheet introducing the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario website.


Sad Face Icons

Case Studies 


Read success stories and case studies about preventing MSD. These stories may apply to your workplace and help you make the right decision.



Question mark



Frequently asked questions. There are lots of myths about preventing MSD at work. With good information and actions, MSD can be prevented.




WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence Program


Why join?


Keeping your team safe and healthy at work is good for business. WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence program provides a clear roadmap to improve safety in your workplace, whether you're just getting started or want to improve systems and processes you already have in place.


No matter how large or small your business is, the Health and Safety Excellence program can help. Connect with a WSIB-approved provider who can help you address your business’s unique health and safety challenges – and you can earn rebates for the work you do to improve your workplace health and safety. 


Check out the Health and Safety Excellence Program website for more information on the program and the benefits.



Click to view page content references

DISCLAIMER: CRE-MSD receives funding through a grant provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.