Two thirds of employees in industrialized nations spend their days sitting in front of a computer at a desk job. All that time hunched over a screen means more people are developing chronic conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive motion injuries.
A new case study highlights how chiropractic care can ease symptoms in people with work-related pain. The study showed that a combined treatment of chiropractic and applied ergonomics led to a 65% improvement in symptoms of work-related pain.
In the study, a 54 year-old man who worked at desk job in a college setting suffered from pain and decreased function in his wrists. Additionally, he experienced moderate to severe headache; dizziness; discomfort in the neck, shoulder, and upper back; pain in the lumbosacral region as a result of his sedentary work and a previous soccer injury.
An erognomist made modifications to the patient’s work station like switching his chair to provide additional support and adjusting his screen to decrease his eye-to-monitor distance. The ergonomist also encouraged him to adopt healthy work behaviors like sitting in an up-right, neutral position and taking small microbreaks for stretching his wrists.
The patient also received regular chiropractic treatment throughout the study. A chiropractor treated the patient with spinal adjustments of the neck and back in addition to correctional manipulation of the shoulders and wrists. The man reported that his pain decreased immediately or within the first 24-48 hours after each chiropractic session.
Within three months of treatment, the patient felt his chief concerns had significantly improved. His headache frequency and severity dropped, and the pain he experienced in his neck and SI joint decrease. These improvements continued throughout the study. After two years of treatment, the patient had better range of motion, zero disability, improved grip strength, and a 50% reduction in pain.
This case study adds to previous research showing that chiropractic can relieve symptoms of work-related pain like carpal tunnel syndrome, headache, neck and back pain. But the study also reminds us of the importance of early interventions for preventing chronic work-related pain. While you may just have an achy wrist or sore back now, if left unaddressed, those symptoms could develop into more chronic conditions. A chiropractor can use a combination of chiropractic techniques, posture correction, and ergonomic evaluation to relieve and prevent work-related pain.
Sherrod CW, et al. The modulation of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders for a knowledge worker with chiropractic care and applied ergonomics: a case study. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013; 12 (1): 45-54.