What you need to know:
- Computer injuries start as soreness, discomfort and localised pain. It is therefore easy to ignore them.
Injuries related to the back are dangerous because they can affect your nervous system thus affecting other organs in the body.
Keep your computer, keyboard, and mouse in a position that allows you to keep a healthy posture.
When you think about workplace injuries, policemen, construction workers, and firemen are likely to come to mind. The common assumption is that people working on the desk in front of a computer all day are safe. However, computer-related injuries are a big cause for concern, especially now when most office work involves the computer.
They may take longer to become noticeable but computer-related injuries are real and can be as dangerous as any other type of injury.
Here are some of the most common computer injuries
- The computer back: Posterior cervical dorsal syndrome
People who use computers to work for a long time may develop a curvature on their back towards the front. This is known as the posterior cervical dorsal syndrome, computer back, or student’s syndrome.
The injury causes pain and soreness on the entire back but mainly on the upper part next to the neck, and lower back. If symptoms are left unaddressed, this injury can cause severe damage to your spine, muscles, and nerves, leading to joint dysfunction and even breathing difficulty.
- The carpal tunnel syndrome
This is an injury to the carpus bones found on your wrist and part of the hand. The injury is caused by excessive typing. You may experience numbness on your thumb and other fingers that you use most for typing. The numbness may develop into pain especially at night. Another effect of this is a lack of strength to grip objects properly.
To avoid Carpal tunnel syndrome, adopt a posture that allows your wrists to be supported when typing, and massage your hands regularly to soothe the muscles and nerves in the area.
- Tennis elbow: Lateral epicondylitis
Excessive and repetitive action with the fingers can put a strain on the muscles and tendons around the elbows. The injury initially causes pain in the elbow area but the pain can spread to other areas of the arm making it difficult to do anything menial with your arms.
Workouts that strengthen your arm muscles, proper posture, and taking breaks from typing can help you avoid the tennis elbow.
- Mouse shoulder
If the mouse is not positioned properly on the desk, the strain to use it can lead to injuries on the shoulder. The injuries usually start to manifest as spasms in the shoulder blade area which develops into intense pain in the entire region.
If left untreated, the mouse shoulder injury spreads to the muscles around the shoulder and eventually leads to a rotator cuff injury.
- Lumbar sprains and strains
Your spine can carry your weight on an average day. However, sitting on the chair for extended periods in the office can cause strain on the lumbar region of the spine which is located on the lower back. The muscles in the region start to get sore and painful over time.
If the injury is left untreated, the pain spreads to the muscles in the pelvic region and hips. You may also experience soreness and swelling of muscles.
- Computer eye syndrome
The computer screen glair and light can cause extensive and permanent damage to the eyes. Initially, it starts as strain on the eyes accompanied by headaches. Then you will have trouble identifying objects that are far away, similar to a short-sighted person.
The condition will get worse if you continue to use the computer without treating the illness.
- Burning on the thighs
Some people prefer to use their laptops on their laps. Unfortunately, this is not recommended and is also unhealthy. The computer gets hot during usage and causes a burning effect on the tissues on the laps.
To avoid this injury, use a desk.