So today I’d like to inform you of Repetitive strain injuries at work:
Recently, I Have seen a lot of clients with what we call repetitive strain injuries.
All the long hours/ overtime at work to save up for the summer holidays must be taking its toll on a lot of people.
The problem is though this extra workload is good for saving up, but if it leads to injuries then the holiday certainly won’t be as enjoyable!.
I have found that office workers often get some advice about posture, however don’t necessarily understand the importance of this advice.
The shocking thing is, the majority of people we see at Paul Gough physio rooms tend to be people who are sat in an office most of the day.
A lot of people would expect it to be mostly individuals who have very physical jobs where they are involved in a lot of heavy manual labour, although, actually it’s often the sedentary jobs that can cause discomfort/injuries too.
If you are an office worker you have probably heard the term, ” repetitive strain injury”.
This is just a general term for pain in the muscles, tendons or nerves that is caused by repetitive actions.
One common repetitive strain injury that we see quite a lot of in our clinic is tennis elbow. You might have heard of this injury in the past, maybe a family member, friend or colleague has suffered from it.
Despite the rather misleading name, tennis players aren’t the only people who suffer from this. Tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow/forearm due to repetitive stress on the muscles that attach in this area.
It’s best to think of the muscles like elastic bands, if you pull on both sides of a band, over time it will start to fray and become weaker in the middle, it’s the same with the muscles too.
The more repetitive stress you put on the muscles of the forearm the more likely they are to tear and become painful.
Fortunately though there are a few ways of limiting the chance of developing tennis elbow that I am going to share with you…
1. Try to avoid the repetitive activity that is causing the pain. Perhaps alternate the hand you are using to perform activities with to give the other one a break.
2. Stretch the forearm muscles by bringing your elbow out straight and with the other hand pulling your wrist down until you feel a comfortable stretch on the back of your wrist.
3. Strengthen: the stronger your wrist muscles are the less likely they are to become uncomfortable. Treat yourself to a stress ball and perform a few squeezes of this per day when at work. A light hand weight / theraband can also be used to strengthen the muscles on the back of the wrist by relaxing your arm on a chair arm and slowly lifting your hand up against the resistance of the weight / band.
Try to perform about 10x reps of 3x sets, 3 x per day of this exercise.
If unfortunately you have already developed tennis elbow then physiotherapy is important to start with as soon as possible.
Deep tissue massage, acupuncture and advanced exercise advice can all help to limit the chance of the pain becoming worse, getting you back comfortably in time to enjoy the few days of summer we are likely to get!.
To read anymore of my blogs, have a look right here…http://www.paulgoughphysio.com/blog/jonny-corner/
And feel free to ask me for anymore tips to help with your repetitive strain injuries at work 🙂
P.s. If you feel like your “tennis elbow” is starting to ruining your life, press here and see what we can do to help you…http://www.paulgoughphysio.com/enquire
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