The human body can be resilient but is usually pretty delicate. It can get sick, injured, and feel pain easily. Most of us would associate feeling pain with an injury of some sort, but sometimes pain can spread for unknown reasons.
Wrist pain or discomfort in your forearm, for example, often seems to show up out of nowhere, without you having gotten injured in any way.
The reason pain in your arms is so concerning is because you rely on them for practically every aspect of your life. From working at the office to simply cooking a small meal for yourself, you need your hands!
That’s why it is not only concerning when you start feeling wrist or forearm discomfort, but it can also be quite distressing. Being unable to do things you would need to in daily life would annoy anyone, after all.
But why do your arms hurt, to begin with? A major contributor to this can be your workspace. From your posture to your furniture – these simple parts of your office life can actually be the reason your arms are in pain!
With how digital everything is, most of us spend a lot of our workday using our computers, and quite a lot of us return home and use our computers even more. The office setup and ergonomics can make a huge difference in how comfortable your arms and wrists are.
Let’s take a look at why wrist and forearm discomfort are common and how you can fix it.
Common Reasons for Wrist Pain
Sometimes, constantly repeating the same motions can put stress and pressure on the muscles and tendons in your arms. Many of us spend time doing repetitive things at work, like typing. On the surface, typing doesn’t seem like something that could cause any kind of injury, but if you do it for too long without breaks in between, you could very easily be causing harm to yourself.
The repetitive motion of the arm or hand can cause certain conditions to develop.
This is a condition where your tendons get inflamed. Tendons are thick tissues that keep your muscles attached to your bones, and repetitive motions can often lead to inflammation in your tendons.
For example, if you have to spend a lot of time using your computer mouse, you can develop tendonitis because of the constant forward and backward motion. This specific type of tendonitis, caused by the back-and-forth movement, is called tennis elbow – even though you aren’t playing tennis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Another common condition that develops in the arm is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a neuropathic issue that causes pain in the arm and hand. In a carpal tunnel, the median nerve that provides feeling in your hands gets compressed at the wrist and spreads pain.
The symptoms of this health issue are not that difficult to identify, but because the pain is somewhat vague, many people don’t realize the problem exists until it is too late. By then, the problem may even have aggravated.
Besides just the pain in the palm side of your wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause weakness that spreads up your arm from the wrist. You may also be experiencing weakness in your arms, to the point that you may be unable to grip things properly. This can become a hindrance in your daily life and can be very distressing.
Carpal tunnel may also cause the side of your hand to tingle, which is plain irritating at best and can actually be quite worrying if it goes on for too long.
The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive motion or bad posture, which ends up keeping your wrist at an awkward angle while carrying out such motions. The condition can be treated with physiotherapy in some cases but can also require surgery in some extreme situations.
Sometimes arm pain can come from a much more concerning problem, like ganglion cysts. While the word ‘cyst’ is associated with horrifying stories of tumors, the ganglion cyst is non-cancerous and is simply filled with the lubricating fluid that keeps your joint operating comfortably.
The cyst itself is usually not painful on its own, but sometimes, it can press down on a nerve and spread pain through the arm. This can make them difficult to live with and may hinder your daily activities.
Treatment for the cyst can be as simple as immobilization, which can make it shrink in size and relieve the pressure. It can also involve draining the fluid that has built up inside or, in some cases, removing the cyst altogether.
In any case, while the problem isn’t a life-threatening one, it is definitely uncomfortable to live with, and it doesn’t look very nice either.
It May Come From Your Neck
Wrist and forearm discomfort can sometimes be a pain in the neck…literally.
Our entire body is connected, so pain in one part of it can sometimes cause pain in another part without us realizing it. You may think the pain you feel in your arm is because of just your arm, but it may actually be coming from your neck instead.
Conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis can affect your arm because the nerves that send signals down your arm and hands are passing through your neck first. If these nerves are getting pinched or compressed in your neck, you may feel tingling and numbness spread down your arm down to your wrist, and sometimes even to your fingers!
If you’re feeling such pain, it is always a good idea to get your neck evaluated too.
Problems with your neck don’t have to be due to any actual condition. Many times, bad posture can end up putting stress in the area. Do you know how your neck and shoulders hurt after you spend a few hours on the computer? If you’re not careful, this may end up causing nerve damage and can take quite a long time to fix.
Maybe the problem in your arm doesn’t stem from any underlying conditions but could just be a result of a bad injury. You don’t have to break or fracture a bone for it to be considered an injury – a bad fall could damage your tendons or ligaments, or overuse of your muscles can end up causing pain.
While these may seem like no big deal on the surface and riding it out with pain killers seems like a good idea. If you don’t address the underlying issue, the situation will only worsen with time.
How to Alleviate Wrist and Arm Pain
Besides how much you rest your limbs, your posture is a significant contributor to these issues. Since most of us spend a lot of time in our workspaces, the problem at hand (pun not intended) is most likely not an injury. Thus, it boils down to repetitive motions and posture.
Keeping your posture correct is extremely important when it comes to protecting your body from different conditions. The wrong angle or pressure in the wrong part of your body can sometimes have irreversible effects.
This is why office ergonomics become so important, and the furniture you use for your workspace can affect that.
Flexispot’s Soutien Office Chair
The Soutien office chair is designed to maximize workspace ergonomics and address all of these problems.
It comes with three height adjustment levels with a rebound system that can help you adjust yourself to any level so that you can keep your arm and neck at a comfortable angle. It also has a backrest that curves ergonomically to make sure your neck and spine are in a comfortable position. The curve provides lumbar support to make sure you’re not putting yourself at a stressful angle. It also has a 45-degree backrest tilt so you can put down your work and relax from time to time.
The chair also has a cushioned armrest that is adjustable in four dimensions. These armrests contour to your arms and elbows to keep them angled at the proper position while you work. The cushion makes sure that your elbows don’t start getting uncomfortable after a while.
The Soutien chair is made from breathable, temperature-sensitive mesh, which provides ventilation, is comfortable, and protects even delicate fabrics. It is also flexible, so it adjusts to your body as you relax in the chair and keeps you supported.
On the topic of adjusting to your body, the chair also comes with adjustable depth. The ideal seat depth helps you avoid any pressure points and lets you sit comfortably for long periods of time. The Soutien makes sure to cater to that. You can get it on Flexispot’s website, along with many other products that emphasize on ergonomics.
Workspace ergonomics are very important if you want to care for your body and keep it running for a long time. Nobody wants to be stuck with pain in their arm or wrist because we rely on them so much – more so than we even realize!
By getting an ergonomic office chair like the Soutien, you can avoid problems like carpal tunnel syndrome or neck pain and work comfortably for long periods of time.