Part Two: Wrist Pain | The physical labour of desk jobs
How can I have tennis elbow? I don’t even play sports!
In this day an age the term tennis elbow is starting to be known as mouse arm which is one problem you could be developing, also it’s not clear but considered unlikely that using a computer at a desk will ‘cause’ Carpel tunnel syndrome, but it certainly can aggravate it.
Here are a few common symptoms which you can have one or more of these;
Pain in one shoulder (that uses a mouse)
Tightness and pain in your upper back and shoulder blades
Pain that extends down the arms into the hands
Numbness or tingling in your fingers and hands
Burning or stiffness in your shoulder or arms
Pain in your wrist
Remember to listen to your body, be aware of the early signs to take care early, so firstly let’s look at maintenance, there are a multitude of stretches and exercises you can do for yourself, even while at the desk, a few to mention that you can do in a few minutes is;
Use one hand to massage the palm of the other, especially those thumb muscles.
Continue to massage down your wrist and forearm, a simple method is to make a clamp like action with your massaging hand and then rotate your hand in a circle like action.
Now you’re warmed up a little, with your arm straight, bend back your wrist and fingers with your other hand,
and to finish up give your hands and arms a good shake, let go of all that tension.
Secondly you need to address the source of this problem which is likely the work desk and posture. Ideally you’ll want to keep your body in as much of a neutral resting position to minimise strain, have you ever tried to hold your arms out in front of you for as long as you can? Most can only last a few minutes, arms can be heavier than you think, so we want to avoid doing this all day.
Aim to have your elbow bent close to 90* so your upper arm is down by your side, not crossing or away from your body, try to avoid reaching all the time.
Avoid resting on your wrists, it can be common to have your mouse close to the edge of the table, as a result you’ll rest the full weight of your arm on the smallest part of your wrist, compressing the area where all your tendons are sliding over each other causing friction, and inflammation. Sit closer to the table you want to aim for at least 2/3 of your forearms onto the table this allows a much broader resting point for your arms.
So far these are tips to prevent problems getting worse, but we use our arms EVERY day, so the opportunity to recover is very limited, to get back in control, do your arms a favour and come see us at Euphoria, we are ready to help you get back on track to a pain free day to day lifestyle.
Make your booking today!
Make sure to keep following, next we’ll look at neck and shoulder
Paul Edwards Remedial massage therapist
Euphoria Wellness Centre & Café
Ph 03 9042 2053
734 Burke Rd, Camberwell 3124
Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.
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