MSD Prevention Programmes

Mid West Physiotherapy has been delivering tailored MSD prevention programmes to companies throughout the mid west of Ireland for over 10 years now. We love this work as it perfectly matches our philosophy towards health; prevention is better than cure. Our goal through this work is to keep your employees healthy and strong, and to minimise the risk of injury occuring through the course of their work. Let us explain this concept further:

What is it?

Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention programmes are aimed at solving recurrent MSD problems in the workplace. These programmes are tailored to a company’s specific needs through a workplace assessment and analysis of the recurrent problem. For example, some companies see many employees treated for elbow pain. Our experienced physiotherapists will create a report on your workplace, list what factors contribute to the problem, analyse how to improve these factors, create solutions to suit both the employees and the company, and put a comprehensive plan in place to prevent MSDs.

What to expect?

An experienced occupational health physiotherapist will attend your work site to start the assessment. Our main goal is to identify the root causes of the recurrent problems. This may include talking to employees, supervisors, and management; completing an ergonomics assessment; and analysing the workplace set up.

A full report will look at environmental, personal, psychosocial, and ergonomic factors that may add to the problem. Known risk factors for MSDs such as force, repetition, posture, and duration will be evaluated. All assessments are carried out using validated assessments tools.

At the end of this process, a comprehensive plan will be put in place to address and prevent recurrent problems. Potential solutions include physical changes to the work place set up, job rotation, fitness programmes for employees and ergonomic awareness training.


Our physiotherapists use their training and experience to create a comprehensive report and implement a solution. Physiotherapists are experts at understanding the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics behind injuries. This knowledge, combined with clinical reasoning and extensive industry experience, makes our physiotherapists experts at identifying and solving recurrent injuries in the workplace.

Understanding the mechanism behind different types of injuries is paramount to good physiotherapy. We don’t just address the pain and injury; but the cause of the issue to prevent further injury.

Evidence – A Case Study

Multiple employees at a factory were seeing physiotherapists and consultants for recurrent elbow injuries. Despite workplace health and manual handling training, the company was unable to stop recurrent problems. This was leading to increased sick leave, lost work hours, increased cost of health care, and a decrease in their employees’ quality of life:

MSDs cause people to endure pain, medical costs, and possible loss of income; 790,000 days of work are lost every year in Ireland due to work-related illness

The company hired Mid West Physiotherapy to create a tailored MSD prevention programme for them.

Our physiotherapist visited the site and identified that repeated elbow injuries were mainly a result of a manual process on the assembly line. Through talking to staff, the physiotherapist was able to identify the exact injury that was occurring.

We carried out a thorough assessment and created a comprehensive report with recommendations. Findings included the amount of force required to operate machinery, repetition of the task, lack of job rotation, and level of employee’s ergonomic awareness were contributing factors.

A tailored programme was developed in conjunction with workplace health. Solutions included modifying equipment to make it safer; more job rotation to decrease the repetition of a task; and EAT in small, engaging groups for employees. This comprehensive plan resulted in a decrease in repetitive stress injuries. Although there was more job rotation, productivity increased as fewer people were missing work or working modified tasks.