Participation in (paid) work is an important aspect of life. Work generates an income, leads to social contacts, may stimulate personal development, self esteem and identity. Work is generally good for health and well-being, provided the working conditions are alright. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a major cause of work disability. It is important for health professionals to realize that patients may not only suffer from pain and impairment but may also become work disabled, which has large consequenses. They should address work-related problems in their contacts with persons with MSD, to analyze the relation between work load and health condition. The work load may cause (or contribute to) symptoms and the course of the disorder. Conversely, the disorder may affect the work capacity, leading to reduced productivity (presenteeism) or sick leave (absenteeism). Modified work tasks, ergonomic improvements or use of supportive devices may decrease the job load; adequate clinical management of the disorder and graded activity interventions may improve the work capacity of the person. There is a lot of evidence on the management of work disability in low back pain; work disability in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is increasingly getting attention in research and clinical practice. This session will present state of the art knowledge on this issue; participants will be invited to discuss possibilities and barriers for clinicians and researchers in preventing work disability in musculoskeletal disorders.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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