DESK JOB GOT YOU DOWN?
You would think that the majority of the workplace injuries that our Registered Massage Therapists treat would be related to heavy labour jobs, but the opposite is often true. Most of the workplace conditions that we treat develop because of employment that does not allow for much movement during the workday.
COMMON INJURIES RELATED TO PROLONGED DESK WORK
There are several issues that we commonly see related to desk jobs:
- Headaches – Headaches can be a result of prolonged screen time or poor neck posture.
- Upper back and neck pain – As you get into your work, you can tend to lean into the screen and your posture becomes compromised. A forward head posture adds strain in the muscles of the neck. Shoulders are often rounded forward when reaching for a keyboard resulting in shortened anterior chest muscles and weak inactive muscles of the upper back. This can cause a tired feeling between the shoulder blades or a burning sensation.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal Tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median at the wrist resulting in pain, numbness or tingling in the wrist and hands. Typing and mousing has been shown to increase the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Tendonitis at the wrist or elbow – Repetitive movements of the lower arm and wrist can result in tendonitis commonly at the wrist and elbow.
- Lower back pain – poor lower back support when sitting for prolonged periods can leave the muscles of the lower back feeling tired and sore.
WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE TO PREVENT INJURY?
If you are someone who spends long hours at a desk, the answer to preventing injury is not to quit your job! There are several simple things you can implement into your workday to ensure you can have a long pain free career!
1. Anti-fatigue glasses to prevent eye strain.
2. Consider your work station and ensure that it is set up to best support your posture.
- Check the height of your monitor so your neck is neutral.
- Ensure your chair has good lumbar support.
- Adjust the height of your chair so your feet are planted.
- Arm rests and your keyboard should be in a position that allows your elbows and wrists to maintain a supported position.
- Some employers are willing to have an ergonomic assessment done by a trained professional so that you can be sure that you are workstation is customized to you.
3. Get up and move!
- Set a reminder on your computer or phone to get up at least once an hour and move around. Take a walk around the office, get a drink, find a flight of stairs to get the blood flowing. If you do this once an hour, chances are you will find that you are also more productive!
- Stretch your arms are wrists. There are simple stretches that you can do right at your desk to prevent overuse injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis. Ask your massage therapist to show you these stretches at your next appointment!
- Engaging in a regular exercise routine that helps strengthen the hips, core and upper back can help prevent a number of injuries including those related to desk work!
HOW CAN MASSAGE THERAPY HELP?
Going for regular massage therapy appointments can also help manage strain and reduce the risk of injury for desk workers. Massage therapy can helps by:
- Correcting postural imbalances
- Treating conditions such as Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Providing education for at home/office recommendations such as stretches & strengthening
- Reducing Headache frequency by addressing tension through the neck and shoulders
- Stress Management
Book an appointment with one of our Registered Massage Therapists to let us help you to have a long and healthy career!