Your shoulder consists of several joints that connect to various tendons and muscles. The complexity of your shoulder is what enables you to do so much with your arms. It’s also the reason why many people suffer from shoulder pain and injuries.
Chronic shoulder pain often stems from prolonged, repetitive, or awkward movements. This type of pain is sometimes referred to as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorder. RSIs are frequently caused by tasks at work. Small, repetitive activities can strain the muscles and tendons of your upper body, including your shoulder.
Shoulder pain often develops gradually rather than all at once. It may be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of your pain. Potential sources of work-related shoulder pain include:
· Awkward postures
· Working with your arms above shoulder level
· Force or pressure on your shoulder, even in small amounts
· Mechanical contact stress, such as that caused by resting your wrists on a hard desk edge while typing
· Static loading, when your muscles have to hold your body in one position for a long time
· Hand-arm vibration, such as vibration caused by a power tool
· Full body vibration, such as vibration caused by driving over rough roads
· Extreme temperature exposure
Physically intensive jobs aren’t the only ones that can cause shoulder pain and injuries. Office workers also have a high risk of developing them. A large number of RSIs are computer related. Sedentary work environments and work habits can weaken your muscles and set the stage for pain.
To minimize neck and shoulder pain, it may help to:
· Develop better posture
· Optimize your workspace or work environment
· Reduce the stress that your daily routines put on your body
Ergonomics is the process of designing equipment, systems, and processes that function well with human bodies. Ergonomically friendly work environments and habits are key to reducing your risk of workplace injuries and pain. If you work at a desk, try these tips to improve your workspace and avoid shoulder pain.
Many people experience shoulder pain related to their work. To help lower your risk of pain and injury, adjust your workspace and habits to be more ergonomically friendly. If you don’t feel comfortable completing a physically demanding task by yourself, ask for help. And make an appointment with your doctor if you develop pain or other symptoms of a workplace-related injury.
If you are in pain and need treatment, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 to request an appointment.