Office Worker’s Syndrome

by admin on July 22, 2010

This is not an actual syndrome, but I have found that office workers and the problems that evolve from sitting at your computer all day, have become a real issue.  With what society requires us today, specifically with the amount of time that the average person works per week, has increased dramatically.  Thus, when we take into account that we are sitting almost all the time at work, we have to wonder what kind of stress it puts on the body.  Almost everyone that has worked in an office knows how important work ergonomics is.  Almost everyone knows the pain that they get from working at the computer, for instance, headaches, sore low back, sore neck/shoulders, sore wrists, and sometimes pain/numbness that starts in your legs and goes all the way down to your feet. You start to wonder then “what do I have to do to make the pain stop?”.  This is what I’m finding that is becoming an epidemic for office workers.  So what can we do to change this?

The problem, from what I can see, is that the human body was not designed to sit for almost 12 hours.  I know that most people are active is some ways every week, but activity is not the solution to the problem. What I have found is when we are sitting for so much time during our day that our structure starts to change.  This change occurs not in your neck and shoulders, where most people start to feel the problem, but in your legs.  When sitting down your hamstrings and adductors are in a shortened position.  When you take into account the amount of time that you are sitting each day, the body will adapt to this problem.  I am finding that your hamstrings will shorten in response from sitting all day.  This shortening puts a constant force acting on your hips, this force will rotate your hips posteriorly. You can see this, most people have been aware of the hip rotation for a long time.  You will see it when you think you have a flat butt, it’s not do to lack of muscles, it’s due to the fact your pelvis is rotated posteriorly.  This rotation will start a chain reaction all the way up your body.  First, you will find that the curve in lower back has increased, this will cause your lower back to hurt.  Second, the curve that has increased in your lower back will lead your upper thorax/chest to tilt posteriorly.  This will lead to your scapula/shoulder blades to function more on a pivot or point than laying flat along your thorax/upper chest.  When the scapula are not functioning on an optimal surface, the muscles in the area have to compensate for the imbalance, causing the shoulder/neck pain.  In my experiences, so far, treating the upper back/neck is great for symptomatic relief. If you are looking for longer lasting results, we have to address the shortening of the muscles and fascia in other regions, especially in the legs/hamstrings.

So, if you are suffering from constant neck/shoulder pain and you work at your office, sitting all day, you should contact myself by phone (604-761-0895) or e-mail mikeS@bayswater.ca and we can discuss your options for treatment in greater detail and to learn how to prevent yourself from developing the “Office Worker’s Syndrome”.

In the path of healing.

Michael Scottnicki
Registered Massage Therapist

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