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Computer-Related Injuries and How to Prevent Them

21 February 2023

Computers have become a part of our lives, and it is impossible to imagine life without them. They help us do our work faster and more efficiently while also providing entertainment and a way to stay connected with other people wherever they may be. But all of this convenience comes at a price – computer-related injuries.

Computer-related injuries are quite common, but since their initial symptoms are mild, people often ignore them. However, if left unchecked, these injuries can cause serious problems in the future. Let's look at some of the common computer-related injuries.



Myofascial Pain Syndrome

MPS, or Myofascial Pain Syndrome, is a chronic pain disorder that can affect computer users and desk jobbers. It's caused by trigger points in the muscle tissue that can cause pain throughout the body. These trigger points are small knots of contracted muscle fibers that form when muscles don't receive enough oxygen due to poor circulation. They can be incredibly painful and often lead to fatigue, stiffness, difficulty sleeping, and other symptoms.

For those with desk jobs who spend long hours in front of a computer, MPS might feel like an unavoidable part of the job. But there are ways to prevent it! Stretching routinely (even for a few minutes) throughout the day can help keep your muscles from becoming too tight or contracted. Taking frequent breaks to move around and get the blood flowing is also important. Finally, making sure your computer setup is ergonomically correct can help reduce the chances of developing MPS.



Tendonitis

Tendonitis, also known as "keyboard elbow" or "mouse shoulder," is caused by overusing the tendons in your arms and shoulders due to repetitive movements. It affects millions of computer users every year who experience painful swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in the affected area.

The most common symptom of tendonitis is a burning sensation around the joints when typing or clicking away at the mouse. While it may seem like an annoying nuisance, tendonitis can cause long-term damage to your muscles and joints if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are some simple preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition:

Take regular breaks throughout the day

Adjust your chair and desk for proper posture

Use a wrist rest while typing

Stretch and massage your muscles regularly

If you experience any signs of tendonitis, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.



Posterior Cervical Dorsal Syndrome

PCDS, aka Computer Back, is a common condition caused by extended periods spent sitting at a computer. It affects the neck and shoulders, leading to pain, tension, and pinched nerves in these areas. Symptoms typically include stiffness and tightness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders, as well as radiating pain around the shoulder blades or into the arms or fingers.

People who experience a computer back often cannot move their heads freely without experiencing discomfort or pain. Left untreated, this can lead to chronic pain lasting for weeks or even months.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent PCSD, like taking regular breaks from sitting at your computer station and ensuring your chair is properly adjusted with good lumbar support.



Synovitis

Synovitis is a condition that affects the synovial membrane, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines and cushions joints. The most common symptom of this condition is swelling, pain, and stiffness in the affected joint. It can occur in any joint in the body, although it is most commonly seen in weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips. Movement may sometimes become very limited due to pain or swelling. Other possible symptoms include redness in the area, warmth around the joint, and difficulty moving it freely.

Synovitis is usually caused by an underlying inflammatory or autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout; however, trauma can sometimes cause it as well.

Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause but can include medications to reduce inflammation and pain, physical therapy to help increase mobility, and in some cases, surgery. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms associated with synovitis so an accurate diagnosis can be made. Early treatment is key for preventing long-term damage to the affected joint.

Talking to your doctor about potential treatment options is a good idea if you have been diagnosed with synovitis or are experiencing any of these symptoms. They can determine the best course of action for managing your condition and minimizing future complications. Taking steps now can help keep your joints healthy for years to come!



Lumbar Issues

Lumbar issues are commonly found in desk workers and people who spend a lot of time sitting at the computer or using their mobile devices. Sitting for long periods can lead to poor posture, which strains the lower back muscles and vertebrae, causing pain and discomfort.

People with lumbar issues often experience difficulty walking, bending down, or standing up straight, as well as chronic pain. Many of these problems can be addressed through physical therapy exercises designed to strengthen weak areas and restore flexibility in tight joints.

Poor posture also creates an imbalance in the spine and can cause other issues like the following

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc is when a disc in the spine bulges out of its normal position and presses on nearby nerves. This can cause pain, discomfort, and numbness or tingling in the affected area.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down to the buttocks, legs, and even feet. It can cause muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations. Sciatica is usually caused by inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve due to an underlying medical condition such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition that causes wear and tear of the joints, including the vertebrae in the spine. It can cause chronic pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips, and other joints.

Dealing with Lumbar Issues

Physical therapy is the most common way to treat lumbar issues. Exercises are designed to strengthen weak areas, improve flexibility, decrease pain, and improve posture. Other treatments may include medications or injections to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms. Surgery may be an option for severe cases that are not responding to other treatments.

It is important to be consistent with treatment and follow the doctor's recommendations to achieve the best possible outcome.

Practicing good posture, taking regular breaks from sitting, and making lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet can help prevent or reduce lumbar issues.



Preventing Computer-Related Injuries with Workstation Ergonomics

Since most desk job workers spend a considerable portion of their day at their workstations, it is crucial to set us the workstation correctly. Following the guidelines below will help you prevent computer-related injuries.

Place Your Keyboard Correctly

The keyboard should be placed directly in front of the body and slightly below elbow level. This allows for a comfortable arm position when typing. If a separate numeric keypad is used, it should be placed to the right of the keyboard.

Your wrists must remain as straight as possible when typing. If the keyboard is placed too high, it may cause wrist extension and increased strain on the wrists and forearms; if it is placed too low, it may cause wrist flexion and increased strain on the upper arms.

Don't Forget the Mouse

The mouse should be placed directly next to the keyboard at the same level. This will help you maintain a neutral posture. A wrist rest may also be used, but the wrists must remain straight and in line with the forearms.

Adjust Your Monitor

The monitor should be placed directly in front of the body, about an arm's length away. The top of the screen should be slightly below eye level. This will help you maintain a comfortable posture when viewing the monitor.

You should also adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor to a comfortable level. If you are wearing glasses, the screen should be tilted slightly backward to prevent glare from overhead lighting or windows.

Adjust Your Chair Correctly

Your chair should be adjusted to provide good back support. It should also have armrests that can be adjusted to allow for comfortable resting your arms and shoulders when not typing. The seat height should also be adjusted so your feet are flat on the floor or a footrest, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Finally, ensure the chair is stable and won't move when you lean back.



Pro Standing Desk E5

Nothing beats an adjustable desk when it comes to ergonomic office furniture. The Pro Standing Desk E5 is an excellent choice for staying organized while working from home. Its adjustable height makes it easy to switch between sitting and standing, helping you maintain proper posture throughout the day. With its sleek design and sturdy construction, this desk will help keep you focused and productive for hours!

A dual-motor lifting system allows users to adjust the height of this desk while ensuring the desk is stable, and the transition is smooth. The structure comprises a crossbeam, ensuring maximum stability even when the desk is loaded to its maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds.

For improved user experience, the desk can be adjusted using an advanced keypad panel, which allows you to store up to three positions in memory. You can also set a timer to remind you that you have been sitting or standing for too long.

The Pro Standing Desk E5 is an excellent choice for staying organized while working from home. Its dual-motor system, adjustable height, and advanced keypad panel make it perfect for maintaining the ideal posture while getting your work done efficiently. With its sleek design and sturdy construction, this desk will help you stay focused on the task at hand!

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a good posture while working with computers is essential for minimizing the risk of computer-related injuries. Setting up your workstation correctly, using ergonomic office furniture, and taking regular breaks are all critical to avoiding the common aches and pain associated with the prolonged use of computers. Taking steps to ensure proper posture and prevent injury can help you stay productive and comfortable while working with computers.