With the work-from-home solution during the pandemic forcing millions into Zoom meetings and laptop work there has been a rise in repetitive injuries, especially carpal tunnel syndrome. What can you do to prevent these injuries from ruining your life? Quite a bit, but first you must understand why repetitive injuries occur and how you can prevent them.
Repetitive stress injuries should never be overlooked or dismissed. They are also known by a more serious name: cumulative trauma injuries. These injuries — such as carpal tunnel syndrome — are the result of many tiny, unnoticed injuries that accumulate until you are in pain. It can become serious, even debilitating and irreversible. What most people assume is that the force or weight of the injury must be serious or heavy; however, the opposite is true. These injuries happen slowly and go mostly unnoticed until it is too late and you are unable to do the things you do regularly.
Weight lifters and body builders often learn the hard way: they become injured by poor form. Learning the correct form is imperative if you are going to be lifting often. Physical therapists are often overlooked as a source for proper technique, but they are more often than not the best choice to evaluate an athletes form. Physical therapists are trained to treat patients who suffer from overuse injuries and they are experts on how the injury happens. Consulting your PT can help you avoid more wear and tear on your body, and as a result you will be less risk-prone to injury.
Proper ergonomics is sadly not practiced by the majority of people working from home. Some have been typing on a laptop from a couch for over a year, and the pain they are experiencing is a result. Proper work-from-home ergonomics require the right body positioning to endure the hours of work, day after day, and week after week routines. It can pay dividends to have someone take a video or picture of you working from home as you normally do and have a physical therapist evaluate your posture and positioning. Small changes can make a big difference.
What To Do If You Have An Injury
If you are in pain you should consult with your primary care physician. If he or she recommends physical therapy you can receive excellent care at Natural Health Sports Therapy in Costa Mesa. Unlike other injuries an overuse injury is often not acutely painful when you are not performing the actions that caused it (e.g., typing on a keyboard). Our physical therapists can evaluate what you are doing that is aggravating the injury and give you tips and techniques to alleviate it.