Even though offices and the world have started opening up now, working from home is considered the new normal. And as a lot of you may have experienced, this new normal brought with it new problems. As the world went into weeks of lockdown, our makeshift offices at home were not designed to be ergonomic, leading to increased reports of different types of pain, discomfort and stress injuries. Let’s see what are the common orthopaedic problems caused by working from home.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that is associated with activities like using a computer mouse for continuous hours. The median nerve, a major nerve of the hand is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist and this causes numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and the forearm. If left untreated for too long, this may lead to permanent dysfunction of the hand, loss of sensation in the fingers and weakness. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.
Tendons are the thick fibrous cords that attach the muscle to the bone. Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of these tendons that causes pain, tenderness and mild swelling. While tendonitis can occur anywhere it’s most common in your knees, heels, elbows, wrists and shoulders. Most cases of tendinitis can be cured with rest, physical therapy and medications. If it becomes severe, or there is a rupture in the tendons, then surgery may be required.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is a juncture of tendons from 4 different muscles connecting the shoulder to the arm. The rotator cuff provides the movement and stability that enables you to rotate and move your arm fluidly. An injury of the rotator cuff can occur in two ways. One is if you suffer a sudden fall or accident, or by repetitive stress injury by work involving frequent overhead motions. This is why this is common among athletes such as Tennis and Volleyball players. The symptoms of this include stiffness, weakness, limited range of motion and pain around the shoulder especially when you raise your arm.
- Lower back strain
Almost everyone experiences backache at some point during their lives. Lower back pain is the most common job-related disability that disrupts your movement and interrupts your daily life activities. Your backbone is a complex machine of bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and the central nervous system and is essential to the functioning of the whole body. Any small damage to any of the parts will cause visible consequences. Lower back strain can have symptoms like aching, burning, pinching sensation, stabbing or sharp well-defined pain, pins & needles discomfort, and dull pain. Acute back pain usually resolves in a few weeks, but chronic back pain is troublesome and needs doctor consultation.
- Foot Pain
Staying at home has another side effect, you don’t wear shoes. We usually travel around barefoot inside the house. Shoes provide the necessary cushion required to protect your leg from the force of stepping on the ground. Without this cushion, the forces directly hit the knee and ankle joints which absorb the impact. This has caused an increase in reports of pain in the knee and ankle joints during this period. Wearing footwear can reduce pain.
Most orthopaedic problems caused due to working from home can be solved with a few easy steps like, stepping out every now and then and stretching your muscles, adjusting your laptop height to your eyesight, using proper ergonomic chairs, or standing desks if required.
If the problems persist, you can get treated at one of the best orthopaedic hospitals in Bangalore, Prakriya Hospital. Prakriya hospital constitutes a world-class Orthopaedics department with a team of highly skilled and experienced ortho doctors, who will provide you holistic care with state-of-the-art facilities at an affordable cost.