There’s no doubt that technology has been a huge boon for many people. But, there are downsides to technology as well, particularly for those who work with devices such as computers, laptops and tablets every day. Repetitive use injuries and other conditions that lead to chronic pain are increasingly common and cause a variety of symptoms that can take a toll.
Common Workplace Issues
Carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are two issues that people in an office setting may face and, with these conditions, come a variety of symptoms that massage therapy can help relieve pain being but one. Pain, fatigue, weakness, and stiffness in the affected areas are the most common symptoms of these injuries. Numbness and tingling, as well as trigger point referrals, are also common.
Along with overuse poor posture can be the cause of painful conditions affecting the neck, shoulders and back. A forward head posture can lead to neck pain as the person unconsciously reaches forward with the head to better see the screen.
How Massage Can Help
Massage therapy is proving beneficial in helping clients with chronic pain find relief—and some of these conditions are no different. Massage therapy can help reduce postural imbalances, nerve entrapment, inflammation in the tissues, and trigger points and their referrals, In addition, massage therapy may be able address the symptoms caused by nerve compression if the nerve compression is due to improper posture.
For example, massage therapy can be beneficial for clients who may have a pelvic imbalance that might cause back discomfort and pain, or those whose forward head posture is contributing to neck and upper back pain. Also massage may benefit patients with shortened pronators a muscle group of the forearms that might be causing forearm, wrist and hand pain.
Before beginning a massage therapy session, your therapist need to be sure they understand the mechanics of your pain. They should assess your postural imbalances to guide your treatment as well as assess your joint’s ranges of motion.
Remember that massage therapy is not going to cure the problem completely, even as the work helps relieve symptoms. You and your therapist need to find a different way to do what you are doing or else the problem will likely return. Teaching clients how to do certain tasks in a less strenuous/more efficient way as well as stretching and/or strengthening affected areas may be needed for a better recovery.
- Go wireless and go big. Particularly if you use a laptop, investing in a wireless mouse and keyboard can really help create a more ergonomic work environment. To help with potential neck problems, you might also consider purchasing a separate monitor. Additionally, think about setting the display to show items and copy at a size that allows you to view things without having to crane your neck to look at the screen.
- Ergonomic keyboard: These can be great tools to help decrease the risk of strain on the hands and wrist for people who have to work on a computer daily, though proper set up and use is key to success. You need to make sure you’re properly fitted for the keyboard, Most off-the-shelf ergonomic keyboards are not designed for small people, for example, and may cause some people to hold the elbows away from the body, creating a whole set of problems for the shoulders and neck.
- Get moving. For those who spend their working days on computers, some stretches or movement exercises at regular intervals might help relieve the strain and tension.