3 Common Injuries That Happen at the Computer
Most people probably associate injuries in the workplace with such jobs as those involving construction or working with heavy machinery. What you may not know is that workplace injuries resulting from prolonged computer use are quite common. This article will discuss three of the more common injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
A repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is one that results from repeated movements of a certain part of the body over time. Damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves leads to pain and limited use of the body part. For frequent or near-constant users, this generally means injuries involving the back, neck, arms, shoulders, wrists, and hands. However, unrelenting computer use can also cause headaches and eyestrain.
Chiropractors offer many different types of effective treatments for computer injuries including chiropractic adjustments and stretching techniques.
Three injuries commonly seen in computer users are:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Symptoms from this condition include numbness in the fingers, weakness when trying to grasp objects and pain in the wrist and hands that is typically worse at night. Symptoms result from the abnormal compression of the median nerve that passes through the wrist area. Carpal tunnel is a type of RSI.
This problem occurs when workers raise and hold their arms in awkward positions in order to operate a computer mouse. The repetitive short-range movements needed to move the mouse only makes the condition worse. Workers may notice severe shoulder pain and may even have pain sensations in the arm. This kind of pain, which is felt in an area other than the actually injured one, is known as referred pain. If not treated or otherwise rectified, mouse shoulder can even lead to more serious injuries to the shoulder rotator cuff.
This one has a technical name known as a posterior cervical dorsal syndrome. It results mainly from poor posture while sitting for long periods, especially at a computer. During this time, the shoulders are rounded, the head is drawn forward, and there is an abnormal curving of the upper, middle and lower back areas. Symptoms that can result include headaches, joint pain, severe muscle tension in back, neck, thighs and legs and problems with the spinal discs.
There are some simple steps that you can take to help prevent or reduce the chance of injury:
- Posture – Maintaining proper posture will help prevent many computer-related injuries and strains. Microsoft has some excellent suggestions about how to position your desk, your computer, your mouse and yourself. You can go here to learn more: Your text to link…
- Use Supports – Get a lumbar pillow for your back and wrist supports for your arms and use them at all times.
- Take frequent breaks – Try not to sit in one position for too long. Stand up, stretch, walk around and get away from the computer for at least a few minutes on a regular basis throughout the day. UCLA offers some other great advice for computer users here.
If you suspect from the information you have learned here today that you may have a computer injury, chiropractic can help. Don’t hesitate to contact a chiropractor near you for help with your symptoms.