Common office injuries and pains
- Monday, 18 September 2017
In this article we are going to look at office injuries and discuss why we experience them and what we can do to remedy them. With so many of us having desk bound jobs it’s little surprise that this way of working has had a major impact on humans and our physical state. Whilst our early ancestors lived an unpredictable life as hunter gatherers, over the millennium people gradually settled into a more predictable manual labour routine through agriculture and then industry. No matter what the era, people lived movement based lives like our bodies were designed for – however, the conditions and workloads often had a more detrimental effect than benefit. Since the late twentieth century most jobs have migrated to the more sedentary office routine, especially in London and Fulham where many people now experience repetitive strain and office caused pains.
Office injuries caused by poor posture
The human body was designed to move and when used properly this movement can stretch and keep the joints oiled and our tissues supple. Desk sitting is not harmful when we sit ergonomically and we regularly stand up and move. If we sit incorrectly, hunched or slumped it can start a downward spiral to potential pain, discomfort and injury. Prolonged poor posture will shorten the muscles that are constantly flexed, leading to rounded shoulders, compressed diaphragm and tight hips. Poor posture in the office can cause painful conditions such as arm, neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain and eventually nerve impingement.
Office related repetitive strain injuries and how massage can help
If you are looking for Bodywork Fulham to help with repetitive strain injuries in your wrist, arms, neck or shoulders we are here to help. Muscle over use, caused by too much key board action or incorrect positioning can cause repetitive strain in the wrist and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Muscle imbalances can cause the palm side of your hand to compress, putting pressure on your median nerve. This may lead to a feeling of weakness, numbness or tingling and cause pain and secondary symptoms. Massage at Fulham Massage & Wellness can balance the arm’s flexor and extensor muscles and straighten the palms’ position enabling the carpal bones to sit better taking the pressure off the median nerve and promoting better function.
Air conditioning and how it can contribute to office injuries
Air conditioning can be a welcome sensation on a warm day in a stuffy office. However, if you are sitting in a direct stream of cold air it can have a negative influence on your muscles and cause muscle strain. It’s a natural action to hunch your shoulders on a cold winter’s day without even noticing that you are doing so. Sitting in a draft can also stimulate the same response and doing so for a number of hours may just cause the muscles that are over worked to spasm and begin the pain cycle. Usually we notice at Fulham Massage and Wellness that this can cause neck pain amongst many London office workers. We can help by releasing the muscles that are in spasm, enabling blood flow to cleanse the irritated nerve endings helping you to become pain free. If you do find yourself sitting in an air conditioning draft make sure that you cover your neck and shoulders with warm clothing to prevent muscle guarding. Another preventative step to combat the negatives of air conditioning is to drink water during the day. Air conditioning can dehydrate your soft tissues and make them less flexible and more prone to injury when you bend down to pick up a bundle of printer paper.
Importance of correct gym exercises for office workers
As we mentioned, constant desk sitting without breaks can have a negative impact on the human body. We live in a flexion based society where almost all physical actions involve the usage of the muscle groups along the front of our body with very few involving the back muscle groups. As a result the muscles of the chest, anterior shoulder and hip flexors can become incredibly tight and shortened. This often has the effect of putting pressure on the competing posterior muscles leading to the back and neck muscles to become fatigued and sore. It is vital for office workers to counter balance the relevant inactivity of sitting down, with exercises that promote movement and muscle strength. Office workers can experience enormous benefit from using pilates, yoga, team sports and gym based exercises to keep the muscles active and functioning well. However, we sometimes start physical activity after a period of months, years or decades of not using those particular muscle groups. If so, it is important that we gradually introduce exercise to ensure better promotion of the muscle function of stiff, tight, weak flexion muscles as well as the muscle groups of the posterior body. If you have been inactive for a period of time and would like to return safely to exercise, please give us a call. If your office or home is located in Fulham or Parsons Green we can do a series of massage treatments on you to make the transition back to exercise safe, enjoyable and beneficial. Regular massage will counter balance the stiffness and lack of movement caused by prolonged sitting and can restore breath, range of movement and muscle performance allowing you to enjoy a better quality of life.
London office worker’s pain caused by stress
Like any work environment there can be periods of increased stress, deadlines and pressure that can have a negative impact on the mental, emotional and physical state of the body. London can be a fast paced and demanding place to work and it is important to implement lifestyle habits that help to support the nervous system and re-boot the mind and physical body. Fulham massage can release the feeling of stress by decreasing muscular tension, boosting the blood flow of oxygen and nutrients and returning a more relaxed state. Deep tissue and sports massage in Fulham helps to remove neck pain and spasm caused by shoulder hunching office stress to return a feeling of relief. It is important to recognise that when you’re busy, over worked and feeling pressure it is essential to counter balance these stresses with something like professional massage. That is why we open our massage clinic in Fulham around your schedule, closing at 10pm week days and opening Saturday and Sunday too.
Ergonomics in the work place – Fulham
Over the past decade there has been more emphasis placed on good ergonomics in the work place – especially office desks, keyboards and chairs. We notice that our Fulham clients have a good ergonomic understanding but often need a gentle reminding. Our massage therapists act as a constant reminder as to the importance of keeping good office posture by identifying and treating areas of pain, dysfunction and imbalance. Working together with a regular massage therapist, helps remind you to take the small steps that can prevent repetitive strain and poor office related posture. Professional bodywork in Fulham or where you live or work can boost your physical condition, mental performance and enjoyment of work in the office, at home and at play. Why not give us a call on 020 3794 9760 to see how we can help?