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Work-Related MSIs and Prevention

24 July 2023

It's not hard to see why sitting all day at a desk job might lead to health problems. After all, your body will get stiff and sore when you're stuck in the same position for hours on end. But did you know that specific health risks are associated with desk jobs? In fact, working at a desk can be downright dangerous if you are too careless. Yes, you read that right! A desk job can cause musculoskeletal injuries.

These musculoskeletal injuries, otherwise known as MSIs, are caused by the strain and tension of sitting at a desk all day. These injuries can range from minor aches and pains to more serious conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. Let us look at common MSIs that can occur due to a desk job and how to protect yourself from them.



Back Pain

The most common MSI that occurs due to desk jobs is back pain. This is because you are not using your core muscles to support your spine when you sit at a desk. This can lead to strain on your back and neck, which can cause pain.

Types of Back Pain

There are several types of back pain that can occur due to desk jobs. Here are a few of them.

Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can be caused by slouching in your chair and poor posture. It can also occur due to the natural curvature of your spine, which is often more exaggerated when sitting at a desk for prolonged periods. To combat this type of pain, it's essential to keep an eye on your posture, make sure that you are sitting up straight, and avoid hunching over your work.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain occurs due to tight muscles in the lower back region. This is usually caused by leaning forward in the chair or slouching when sitting at a desk. It can also be caused by spending too much time in one position and not getting up to move around enough. To help with this type of pain, make sure you stretch regularly while at work and take regular breaks to move around.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a nerve pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs down your lower back through your hips and legs. This pain is usually caused by poor posture when sitting for long periods. To prevent this from happening, make sure you sit up straight in your chair and use a lumbar support cushion if necessary.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is another common type of back pain that occurs due to desk jobs. This is because when you are hunched over your work, it puts strain on your neck muscles and can lead to pain. To prevent this from happening, make sure you take regular breaks and stretch your neck during the day.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs occur when one or more spongy discs between your vertebrae slip out of place. This can cause severe pain, numbness, and tingling in the affected area. To help prevent this from happening, make sure that you are using ergonomic furniture at home or at work to ensure proper support for your spine.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when the nerves in your neck and shoulder become compressed. This pain is usually caused by poor posture when sitting at a desk, so try to ensure that you are sitting up straight and not slouching.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction occurs when an imbalance between the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joint can cause severe pain. To help with this type of pain, make sure that you are stretching regularly and using ergonomic furniture if available.

Back Pain Prevention

To prevent back pain from occurring due to desk jobs, it's essential to take measures to improve your posture, take regular breaks, and stretch regularly. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Make sure that you are sitting up straight in your chair and using ergonomic furniture if available

Take frequent breaks throughout the day to move around and get some fresh air

Stretch your neck and back muscles during the day to prevent them from becoming too tight

Change positions frequently when sitting at a desk so that you're not spending too much time in one position

Invest in an adjustable desk or workstation to sit or stand while working.



Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Another common MSI that can occur due to desk jobs is carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is an area on the wrist between the fibrous tissues and bones, where the median nerve passes through. This nerve is responsible for sensations in your fingers and thumb and for controlling muscles at the base of the thumb. Repetitive motions and strain on hands can cause inflammation in the fibrous tissues in the carpal tunnel. This leads to swelling and pressure in the area, causing pain in the hand or wrist.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel can include tingling, burning, numbness, pain, or weakness in the hand and wrist. These symptoms usually start gradually and become worse over time. Because these symptoms can be similar to other conditions like arthritis or tendonitis, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis from a physician if you are experiencing any of them.

To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, it is essential to practice good ergonomics when sitting at a desk. Keep your wrists in a neutral position while typing, and take frequent breaks to stretch out your hands. If symptoms do occur, treatments available can help relieve pain and reduce pressure on the median nerve. Common treatments include splinting or wearing a brace at night, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and even surgery in more severe cases.

By taking preventive measures and getting treatment when needed, desk job workers can avoid unnecessary stress on the hand and wrist during long hours of work each day. As always, consulting with a physician is essential for an accurate diagnosis and developing a tailored treatment plan if you experience any of the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.



Tendonitis

Tendonitis is another common MSI that desk jobs can cause. It occurs when the tendons in your hand or wrist become inflamed due to excessive or repetitive motion. Symptoms of tendonitis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area.

To prevent tendonitis from occurring due to desk job-related activities, make sure you take frequent breaks throughout the day, stretch your hands and wrists regularly, and use ergonomic furniture if available. If symptoms do occur, rest is essential for allowing inflammation to subside. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed by a physician, as well as splints or braces at night to keep wrists in a neutral position while sleeping.



Bursitis

Bursitis is a condition where the bursa, tiny fluid-filled sacs located near joints, become inflamed due to excessive or repetitive motion. Bursitis symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area.

To prevent bursitis from occurring due to desk job-related activities, make sure you take frequent breaks throughout the day and stretch your hands and wrists regularly. If symptoms do occur, rest is important for allowing inflammation to subside. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed by a physician as well as using splints or braces at night to keep wrists in a neutral position while sleeping.



Kana Pro Bamboo Desk

One of the leading causes of MSIs among desk-job workers is the desk itself. Many desks are not of the correct height and require the user to slouch. This puts a lot of pressure on the back, neck, wrists, and other body parts.

The Kana Pro Bamboo Standing Desk is an excellent solution for desk job workers. It features adjustable height settings to find the perfect position for your body and ergonomically designed support arms that provide optimal wrist comfort while typing or using a mouse.

If you are searching for an ergonomic desk that does not compromise aesthetics or durability, look no further than the Kana Pro Bamboo Desk. It comes with a natural bamboo top, twice as durable as any wood. The lacquer coating makes the surface scratch and water-resistant.

The desk has a powerful dual-motor lifting system capable of lifting up to 275 pounds. The height can be adjusted between 23.6 and 49.2 inches. It also has a cable management system to help keep your place tidy.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, desk job-related MSIs are common, but they do not have to be. By taking preventive measures such as learning proper posture and typing techniques, using ergonomic furniture, and taking frequent breaks throughout the day, you can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing any of these conditions. Additionally, if symptoms occur, it is essential to consult a physician to develop a tailored treatment plan.

Remember, you are responsible for taking care of your health. Don't let desk job-related MSIs slow you down. With the Kana Pro Bamboo Desk, you can find an ergonomic solution for your workspace that does not compromise aesthetics or durability. Don't wait any longer to get the best working experience.