Whether your job is extremely physical or sedentary and desk based, the human body can adapt and react in a negative way which could lead to pain and discomfort.
The positions which we subject our bodies to can often be extreme. Whether it's a job requirement to be lifting and moving items throughout your day or having to sit at a desk in front of a computer, this all gives opportunity for our body to suffer.
If you think about it for a moment we are all at some stage guilty of poor posture. No matter how hard we try we often catch ourselves slumped at our desks, or if in a physical job, ignoring the age old adage of 'bend your knees and not your back!'
It is very easy to let our posture go and it is by doing this that a lot of pain and injury can occur.
A very high percent of the population uses a laptop or a least some kind of media output either for their job or at home but how can doing this give you pain?
First of all, lets for a moment imagine a person sat at their desk working on their computer. Quite often you shall observe them starting to 'slump'. The back arches, the shoulders round, the elbows come away from the body and quite often the head comes forward. Now the poor body has to suddenly adapt with all these changes, which it does most affectively however, the body cant keep this up for long and eventually waves a little white flag of defeat which results is the pain and discomfort that can result at the neck shoulders and back.
Repetitive strain injuries.
So what is this? It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a strain or an injury to an area that is caused by a repetitive movement. Most commonly these are musculoskeletal in nature but can also be a result of nerve damage.
As we move around we have structures all over the body called 'tendons'. The job of a tendon is to attach muscle to bone, and it is the repetitive contraction of a muscle time and time again that can lead to the aggravation and irritation of these tendons and the tendon sheath, which is a kind of surrounding tube present at most tendons.
Often after prolonged repetitive strain injury in certain areas the condition is given a specific name, such as 'tennis elbow' or 'golfers elbow' (when the tendon has caused more serious damage to the bone attachment) or 'DeQuervains Syndrome'.
When this happens in the wrist/hand it is sometimes called 'Carpal tunnel syndrome'.
This is a median entrapment neuropathy causing strange pins and needles type feelings into the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger.
The median nerve is one of the main nerves which passes down the arm through the wrist and into the hand through a little tunnel called, you've guessed it, the 'Carpal tunnel'.
Now there are other predisposing causes of this condition such as, obesity, pregnancy diabetes and hypothyroidism. If you suspect that you have Carpal tunnel and it may be due to any of these conditions stated above then please consult your GP.
So what can the patient do to help themselves?
- First and foremost try to improve your posture.
- Get your work station ergonomically assessed by an expert. Simple changes to the height of your chair and desk and the correct position of your body in relation to this can make a world of difference.
- Take regular breaks
- Keep hydrated
So how can Osteopathy or Physiotherapy help you with any of theses issues mentioned above?
Your practitioner, after a thorough case history and examination shall attempt to correct any postural abnormalities, removing any restriction and help the body return to a more free moving, neutral position which will hopefully help return the health and vitality of the body back to normal.
This is achieved through all manner of articulation and manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. You may also be given some prescription exercises to help you maintain the changes and improve your long term posture and tendon tension. (please refer to our website under our heading 'services' for more information)
For more information on RSI, carpal tunnel, work strain & posture problems, or to book an appointment please call 01737 247 555
or email us at email@example.com
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