Preventing and Treating Pain Caused by Your Computer

For most people who work nine-to-five jobs, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day is normal. It’s the 21st century, and everything we do involves some sort of screen. Whether you’re a person who works on the computer or uses their phone for work, some pain or soreness in your joints or muscles is inevitable. Here are three injuries you can experience while working on a computer and tips to prevent them:

 

Eyestrain

Since most of the workday consists of staring at a screen, there’s bound to be some discomfort associated with eyestrain. Symptoms such as dry or itchy eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and increased sensitivity to light make concentrating difficult. While this condition isn’t serious and can go away after resting your eyes, it can still be bothersome.

Some tips to reduce eyestrain throughout the day include tilting the screen to avoid any reflections or glares, adjusting the brightness of your screen, taking small breaks away from the computer, and investing in blue light glasses. Blue light glasses block damaging HEV (blue) light emitted from digital screens. Too much exposure can suppress the secretion of melatonin. Just like you would protect your eyes from the sun using sunglasses, blue light glasses protect you from harmful artificial light. If symptoms such as headaches get to be too much, over-the-counter pain medications are recommended.

 

Neck and Back Pain

Bad posture is the number one way to cause neck or back pain during the workday. Sitting in an uncomfortable office chair with your body hunched over a computer isn’t doing your muscles and joints any favors. While sitting actively engages fewer muscles than standing, after long periods of time it reduces blood circulation and leads to stiffness and pain.

Tips to prevent neck and back pain include using an ergonomic chair that supports the natural curve of your spine, investing in an adjustable desk that lets you stand while working, keeping your screen at eye level, and taking breaks to stretch or walk around. This improves your posture and makes working at a desk throughout the day much more manageable.

 

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome appears when the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand pinches at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow pathway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand. It holds the median nerve and tendons that bend the fingers. Women are more likely to develop CTS because the carpal tunnel itself is smaller in women than men. While typing has been proven to not be the cause of the syndrome, it can definitely worsen symptoms. Symptoms of CTS include burning, tingling, itching, and numbness in the fingers or hand. To treat CTS, wearing a wrist splint at night for a few weeks is a must. Acetaminophen can help relieve pain.

 

Contact the Vereen Center today for more ways to treat and prevent work-related strains and injuries.