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Desk Work Pains

The most common cause of postural related injuries, a cause that I see in the clinic every single day, is sitting at a desk and using a computer all day, every day.  Many of us will then either try to fit in some intensive exercise to combat this sedentary day, or worse, continue this behaviour by sitting on a sofa and playing on a laptop, phone or tablet.

Common desk work related injuries include:
– Neck and back pain
– Shoulder or arm pit pain
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Arm and wrist pain
– Hip and leg pain
– Headaches

What happens when we sit at a computer for a long period of time, especially at poorly designed workstations?  
A prolonged seated position in front of a computer causes the shoulders to roll in to reach the mouse or keyboard, the head moves forward and we assume a slumped posture.  This abnormal posture is known as upper crossed syndrome (UCS).  UCS causes the muscles at the front of our neck and mid-back to get stretched out and weak and the muscles at the back of our neck, shoulders and chest to get shortened. In turn, the joints in the neck become more compressed and less flexible.

Similarly, the act of sitting with flexed hips for hours on end causes hip flexor muscles to become short and tight and gluteal and abdominal muscles to become lengthened and weak.  This is known as lower crossed syndrome (LCS).  These changes in muscular condition create imbalances and abnormal movements, causing pain and dysfunction in the affected areas.  Many injuries are caused as a result of these postural changes and physical strains.

Interesting fact:
The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds, but angling your neck at 60 degrees – like when stooping to read a text – increases the pressure to 60 pounds! The muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back must support the equivalent of 6 times the weight of your head.  According to the National Library of Medicine, these stresses lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possible surgeries.


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Fight the forces of sitting at a desk all day and let Danielle help you to regain some flexibility, strength and comfort in your joints.