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4 Most Common Desk Job Related Injuries That Physical Therapy Can Help Treat

Do you have a desk job and find that the minor aches and pains you initially experienced have now

become more persistent? If so, you are not alone as the average person spends 13 hours a day sitting and

some experts are now saying that sitting is the new smoking. Have no fear, physical therapy can help with

most desk related injuries while preventing your symptoms from getting worse. Here are the most

common injuries people experience on a daily basis:

 

1. Low Back Pain

Whether it’s occasional pain or an ongoing ache, back pain can keep you from performing at your best.

Sitting at your desk for hours at a time can cause lower back pain, which is the most common

work-related injury. Slumping back in your desk chair or slouching forward means your spine is out of

alignment which puts increased strain on the ligaments and muscles in your back. With poor posture,

muscle groups tend to get weaker, which makes it more difficult to maintain proper posture throughout

the day. Abdominal strengthening can help take pressure off your back making it easier to maintain good

posture. That’s where your physical therapist comes in to help. With proper stretching, strengthening and

muscular re-education, physical therapy can help reduce the symptoms you’re feeling and help prevent

further injury.

 

2. Wrist & Elbow Strains and Overuse Injuries

Spending all day and night typing on your keyboard to respond to emails, write reports, and create

presentations can cause injuries that can become more serious over time. A combination of overuse and

positioning at your keyboard are to blame. Repetitive motion causes fatigue and as a result, the tendons

may become inflamed. Being hunched forward restricts proper blood flow and causes increased tightness

in your upper extremities, which can eventually lead to numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.

Consulting a physical therapist can help reduce neurological symptoms and pain with proper stretching

techniques and strengthening exercises. Physical therapists can also educate you on proper ergonomics

while finding a way to make your work environment best for you in order to prevent recurring injuries.

 

3. Neck & Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder injuries tend to go unnoticed or brushed aside until the pain starts to affect other

aspects of your life. Often, these aches and pains stem from placing your keyboard or computer monitor

too far away on your desk, or through the use of multiple monitors. Poor posture and body positioning can

cause your neck and shoulders to slouch forward, which strains the surrounding muscles and soft tissue.

In order to facilitate better posture by strengthening weaker muscle groups, you should consider

consulting with a physical therapist. The physical therapist can help remedy your current symptoms, as

well as ensure positive longer-term changes through neuromsucular re-education.

 

4. Tight Hips

Time spent sitting in a bent position at your desk shortens your hip flexors, which are a group of muscles

that are located at the front of your hips that can cause pain when tight. Tight hip flexors may also be

exacerbated during your commute to and from work, whether it be sitting in the car or riding the subway.

Unfortunately, tight hips are frequently overlooked and can have a significant impact on daily movements

and functional tasks. However, through various tests and measurements, physical therapists can help

identify tight hips and create an appropriate treatment plan.

Even if you are not suffering from severe pain or postural problems, physical therapy can still help you.

Don’t wait until that minor elbow pain or occasional back pain become so severe that you have difficulty

getting through the day or completing your daily activities. Physical therapy goals are created specifically

for each individual with different goals in mind. Becoming knowledgeable about the proper posture and

work ergonomics while receiving effective treatment for minor pains can help prevent recurring desk

related injuries. Contact Exchange Physical Therapy Group today with any questions.

 

-Erin Granahan PTA

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Jersey City

31 Montgomery Street, Suite 4
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 721-6130
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500 Avenue at Port Imperial
Weehawken, NJ 07086
(201) 272-9400
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