Unlike other joints, the shoulder moves in various directions due to its complex ball and socket structure. The downside of this excellent mobility is that it lacks stability. A shoulder that lacks strength is more likely to sustain injuries and experience pain.
Long-term shoulder pain is often caused by repetitive movements, awkward postures, or prolonged rest periods. You can strain your shoulder muscles and tendons by doing small, repetitive activities. Usually, this is referred to as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorder. Workplace tasks are frequently responsible for these strain injuries, especially among working women.
Most think that physically intensive work causes shoulder pain or other associated problems. The risk of developing them is also high for office workers, especially women. Most repetitive strain injuries are computer related. You may weaken your muscles and build shoulder pain when your sedentary work environment and habits.
The pain in the shoulder usually develops over time. The exact cause of your shoulder pain is challenging to pinpoint. However, here are some potential work-related causes of shoulder pain:
- Sitting or standing in awkward postures at work
- When your work involves your arms being kept above your shoulders for extended periods
- High force or pressure exerted on the shoulder
- While typing, placing your wrists on a hard edge may subject them to mechanical contact stress
- Static loading (being in a single position for an extended period using your muscles)
- Hand-arm vibration – vibration caused while using some power tools at work
- Driving over rough roads
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
Creating a Safer Workplace
Although eliminating workplace injuries may not be possible, we should do our best to reduce the risk. For example, many people have shoulder injuries from manual labour, but people who work behind a desk are equally at risk of shoulder problems. So the following tips can help people to create an ideal work environment:
Set up your desk — Place your monitor directly in front of you (eye level) and the keyboard within reach of your fingertips. If you do so, you can view it straight on without leaning.
Sit straight — You may have heard it many times from your parents, school, or workplace friends. Well, indeed, sitting directly in proper posture can protect your muscles from straining.
Improve your reach — Keeping the things you need much closer to your working desk are some simple tips to safeguard your shoulders. For example, don’t cradle the phone between your head and shoulder. Keep the mouse on your desk so that your elbows are at 90-degree and your arms rest on the desk while working.
Get some support — Ensure that your chair fully supports your sitting position, that it is flexible enough to bend as far back as possible, and that your legs are properly supported. Consider using a footstool if you need additional stabilisation.
Taking a break — Taking a quick break from your posture and doing a gentle stretching exercise at your desk – even if it’s just a short walk from your desk to another room and back – can help you prevent many shoulder problems.
Lift correctly — if you have to lift any heavy objects, always keep your back straight and face the thing you are lifting. Your legs should always be your primary weight-bearing tool.
A standing desk — A standing desk may be difficult for many people. If you have the possibility of a standing desk at least for some time, you may reap the benefits like decreased body strain on many parts and burning your calories while working.
You are more likely to injure your shoulder if you work a manual labour job that involves repetitive motions. The following tips can help you prevent shoulder injuries:
- It is always a good idea to warm up before starting your work
- You can begin a strengthening program with the help of a physical therapist
- Make sure your arm posture is correct when you use it.
- Use proper gear to protect your shoulder
- Get some rest.
- Adjust your sleeping positions so that you won’t stress your shoulders.
There is no need to suffer alone from a work-related shoulder problem. Dr Chandra Sekhar, one of the finest shoulder surgeons in Hyderabad, has compassionate staff and equipment to protect your shoulders from any work injury. Give us a call at +91 99595 88389 for a consultation.