Working in an office setting is not as strenuous as running a marathon, but boy can it be taxing on your body! Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are common among office workers. Diagnoses include shoulder impingement, lateral epicondylitis (or tennis elbow), wrist tendonitis, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome including ulnar nerve compression either at Guyon’s canal or at the cubital tunnel. It is very important to evaluate your work station to be sure that your body remains in the proper position to avoid these syndromes. There are many adaptations and adaptive equipment available to assure good body alignment during deskwork activities. It’s also important that your work station is well suited for your body type and size. Too many times, workers rest too heavily on their armrest and this can cause ulnar nerve pressure at the medial aspect of the elbow. Classic signs of compression of this nerve include aching along the ulnar forearm and numbness/tingling in the ulnar digits. It can be miserable, even causing sleep disturbance. Another common scenario is the development of median nerve compression at the volar wrist/proximal hand. At the initial onset of carpal tunnel compression symptoms, people tend to just periodically bring their arms to their side and “shake” them out. Most often, this does not get better unless a person makes some deliberate changes including work station modification, regular performance of median nerve gliding and tendon gliding exercises. Wearing wrist splint at night that assures neutral positioning may also be helpful in the early stages of the diagnosis. So much of our lives is spent in front of a computer… and especially these days. So, take good care of your body and the way that you use it. It’s an absolute gift to give yourself.
Erica J. Montgomery, OTR/L, CHT
If you are experiencing shoulder impingement, lateral epicondylitis (or tennis elbow), wrist tendonitis, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome including ulnar nerve compression , contact us for a consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.