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including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Most non-traumatic work injuries come in the form of repetitive work strain from overused muscles. These injuries include Tendinitis, postural syndromes and carpal tunnel syndrome to name a few. These injuries can be the result of microtrauma or small tears, hypoxia (lack of oxygen to tissues) or more forceful conditions such as tears, strains, or contusions.
Each of these factors can cause the body to start to produce scar tissue or adhesions at the site of injury. This scar tissue can bind up healthy tissue and create destruction to blood flow, shortened and weakened muscle tissue and the potential for nerve entrapment. Range of motion can be restricted and can create the potential for radiating nerve pain, tingling or weakness.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is an example of a repetitive overuse injury that the Bureau of Labor statistics reports an average of 25 lost work days per case. The development of scar tissue may lead to nerve compression which can lead to numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the forearm, hand and fingers. Repetitive movements which stress the wrist joints, tendons and muscles such as computer work, hair cutting, piano and mechanical work, can all be activities that can cause CTS. The most common site of nerve entrapment is actually within the pronator teres muscle of the forearm.
Headaches are also a common work related injury that can be based on posture. Sitting at a desk with slouching forward posture creates a heavy workload for the small suboccipital muscles which struggle to hold your head up while at the workstation. The muscles become shortened from overwork and may develop scar tissue as a result. Overall range of motion of the neck can become restricted with an associated loss of joint mobility which can result in frequent headaches.
This same poor workstation posture can also shorten hamstrings, hip flexors and the muscles of the lower back which can become a source of lower back pain, leg pain and radiating nerve pain or Sciatica.
Forward slouching posture also positions the shoulders forward and down which can be the source of rotator cuff tendinitis or impingement syndromes.