Musculoskeletal dysfunction is the most common work-related problem in the United Kingdom each year, accounting for several million working days lost. The majority of these cases result from prolonged exposure to high or low intensity loads over a long period of time.
Manual work carries the inherent risk of injury caused by heavy and awkward lifting, over-reaching and extended periods of bending. Examples of such injuries include disc or muscle strains, ligament sprains and joint irritation.
Deskbound roles are associated with prolonged computer or telephone use, irregular breaks and poor posture. The same can be said for long standing driving commitments. Slouching at work encourages shoulders to become rounded, poor alignment of the shoulder muscles (the rotator cuff) and areas of poor blood supply. Neck pain is consequential to the forward-chin posture associated with looking up at a computer screen or driving. This position can irritate joints in the neck and possibly cause pain or tingling into the arms and hands. Prolonged postures at work can also cause strains to the joints and discs of the lower back.
Repetitive strain injuries such as tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons in the fingers and their encasing sheaths) and carpal tunnel syndrome result from overuse of the computer keyboard and mouse. Symptoms include pain and swelling in the elbow, wrist, hand and thumb.
Osteopathic treatment for work strains combines hands-on treatment for the immediate relief of symptoms with discussion and understanding as to how the problem has occurred in the first place. Advice on work-related posture, ergonomics and trade-specific techniques is given to help patients to avoid reoccurrence and take control.