Computer ergonomics and physiotherapy

Does work give you a pain in the neck and back?

With the huge reliance on technology in the workplace an increasing number of people are working for long hours in relatively fixed positions, performing repetitive movements while working hard to meet deadlines.  Common problems are aching felt in the neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, wrist and elbow joints and in some cases pain, numbness and pins and needles felt in the arm and/or hands.  These symptoms can signal the onset of OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome) also called Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), which may include damage to tendons, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues from repeated physical movements over time.

Make sure you pay attention to your posture both at home and at work, especially when using your computer.

Physiotherapy Can Help!

A physiotherapist with knowledge in ergonomics and work related conditions can perform an individual work station assessment.  Recommendations will be given such as the correct seating and workspace layout to prevent such conditions happening.  Risks will be identified and advice given on correct posture, height of the desk and chair, position of screen, mouse and keyboard.

Guidelines for healthy computer use

Start Moving and Stretching:  Get up from your work station for a short stretch or walk around to promote blood flow to fatigued muscles every hour.

Variety:  Add variety to your tasks.  Take every break as an opportunity to go for a short walk, exercise and relax.  Try to vary your tasks.

Reduce Strain:  Make sure you are sitting correctly with your back supported.  Speak to us about ways to ensure you are sitting in the best possible position.

Talk to your physiotherapist:  This pain and discomfort can be prevented, but if symptoms do occur, early intervention is the best form of treatment.  If you are experiencing regular or increasing discomfort while sitting at your computer, take early corrective action.  A physiotherapist will listen to your problems and concerns, and will enquire about your activities and life style.  They will then examine you, and discuss these findings with you.  Following this, together you will work out a plan of exercises and stretches, and importantly look at changes that can be made to prevent the problems, especially to avoid recurrence.


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