Since the pandemic began, almost every company employee has experienced an extended period of a work from home (WFH) setup. Due to this, we have also seen a rising number of individuals in front of a computer day in and day out. This, however, also increases the chance of hand and wrist injuries.
If you’re one of these people who work at home or in the office, it’s important for you to learn that chronic hand problems exist! Caused by a multitude of circumstances, these are most common in those who spend most of their day at a computer. Read on as we explain hand injuries as a result of poor ergonomics.
The Causes of Hand Pain in Office Workers
Hand and wrist pain are usually caused by an insufficient computer workstation. Chairs that are too high, too low, or do not effectively support your back, as well as disorganized or too low computer workstations, fall into this category.
The duration of occupational tasks is another typical cause of hand and wrist pain. Using certain muscles without rest, keeping static positions, and spending too much time at a computer keyboard can all lead to difficulties.
The Prevalence of Hand and Wrist Injuries
Tendonitis, also known as repetitive strain injury, is a highly prevalent condition. This involves the improper placement or overuse of the wrist, which directly induces nerve compression syndromes. Because muscles and nerves receive less blood, symptoms such as tingling in the hands, fingers, thumbs, and wrists occur.
Take action if you are suffering symptoms. Begin by doing a workplace assessment. Then, through an on-site ergonomics assessment, a physical therapist can assist you in establishing a workstation that meets your specific needs. This way, you get advice from a professional hand-care team and ergonomic specialists.
The Workstation Ergonomics
Ergonomics begins with your chair; a poor sitting foundation might lead to subsequent issues. Your feet should be level on the floor, with knees and hips bent 90 degrees. The chair should support your lumbar region. Shoulders should be horizontal or slightly stretched, with elbows at 90 degrees. The computer mouse should be placed parallel to the keyboard. Place your wrist on a wrist rest between keystrokes.
The top line of your computer monitor should be horizontal, straight ahead of you, and an arm’s length away. If you wear bifocals, tilt your monitor up to accommodate them. For data entry from paper documents, use a document holder attached to your display.
Seeking Medical Assistance
You may already be experiencing discomfort as you finish reading this article. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling. A physical therapist can assist you in managing your symptoms, correcting underlying issues, increasing your strength, assessing your everyday work environment, and prescribing appropriate home exercises.
This new knowledge can hopefully help you prevent hand injuries and workstation discomforts. Although if you are already experiencing symptoms in your hand or arm, know that your local hand-care team can be at your aid. So, be on the lookout for signs and symptoms and spread the word to your friends and coworkers!
Are you in need of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment? The North Florida Hand and Wrist team led by surgeons Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez is here to relieve you of any pain and discomfort in your hands or wrists. Call us today and set up an appointment!