When we work in front of the computer, we often experience tension, soreness and even pain in the neck, shoulders, back, wrists and arms. These discomforts are usually caused by poor working position at the desk and by repetitive movements.
Sitting in front of the computer or at the desk can cause rather severe muscular and postural problems. Typically we sit hunched forward, our back is not always straight, our shoulders move forward to control the mouse and use the keyboard, our arms are turned inward towards the centre instead, our head is moved forward and we do a lot of repetitive movements. The perfect formula for soft tissue problems and anomalies.
This poor working position strains the body in unnatural ways. When our shoulders rotate inward and forward, the chest muscles tighten and are shortened, while our back muscles are stretched and lengthened. The constant stretch is what we feel as soreness or pain between our shoulder blades and elsewhere on the back. The same happens with the shoulder muscles. Those in front are shortened and constantly kept tense, while those at the back are stretched and lengthened. Our head is jutted forward which shortens the muscles in the nape and lengthens the muscles on the front. Often one shoulder is higher than the other due to the work with pen or mouse.
All these strains on the soft tissue cause soreness and pain, trigger points (knots) spread, and the tension can cause head-aches as well. The headaches are often caused by nerves, which go through the muscles at the neck, are pressed by the tight muscles. If left unattended, the poor body alignment can become permanent and a life with pain lies ahead. You often see the result of poor working position in old people who are almost hunchbacked with age. A lifelong poor position when working is the likely cause of their current condition.
Luckily it is relatively easy to counter poor working positions and to normalize the body alignment, if dealt with in time.
Massage is an excellent, and one of the best methods to treat symptoms from extensive computer use. Massage relaxes and lengthens the tense shortened muscles, helps strengthen the weakened and lengthened muscles, removes trigger points, makes you relax and helps the body get back into its natural alignment. The massage therapist can also advice you with exercises to do between treatment and to maintain the good a session have given.
Regular strength exercise and condition training will help you avoid these problems. Being aware of and correcting your working position, making sure you don’t sit hunched forward, and doing regular stretch exercises will all aid you in avoiding the problems poor posture causes.