Individual Factors and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders are common experiences in the lives of many people worldwide
(Volinn, 1997). They are also an important source of disability in both Canada (Cole et al., 2001) and
the U.S. The latter is well described in the chapter “Dimensions of the Problem” of a recent report by
the National Research Council/Institute of Medicine (NRC/IOM) Panel on Musculoskeletal Disorders
(NRC/IOM Panel, 2001). Yet not everyone has an MSK disorder and many with MSK disorders do
not suffer much disability, leading the public, practitioners, and researchers to ask: what factors increase
the likelihood of experiencing an MSK disorder and suffering an MSK disability?