Body Wellness: Is Your Computer Causing You Pain?
By Dr. Kelly Herta, DC
We all have seen "ergonomic" devices advertised that protect our wrist while we type, such as keyboards with wrist supports. But, has anyone ever explained what we can do ourselves to prevent injuries from occurring without spending any money?
Here are some simple things you can do to prevent the injuries, called Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI's), often times caused by the inappropriate setup of our computer stations. First, take hourly stretching breaks from your work. This can be as little one minute of standing up and walking around. During these stretch breaks give your eyes a periodic break from the computer by focusing on a distant object and then refocusing on a near object. This action prevents eyestrain which is a common complaint of computer users.
Next, adjust your chair so that it allows a neutral body position. The feet should rest comfortably on the floor and the legs should be at right angles with the knees. The armrests should also be adjusted so that your shoulders are relaxed.
Make sure your keyboard and mouse are at the correct height for your body. They should allow your arms to form a 90 degree angle at the elbows and the wrists should be in a neutral position. Place your mouse as close as possible to the keyboard.
Look at the monitor and make sure that it is straight ahead of you instead of off to the side. The monitor should be setup at or slightly below eye level and about 18-28 inches from your eyes. Reduce glare for your eyes by placing the monitor at right angles to any windows.
Many people suffer from RSI's as a result of not having their computer workstation setup correctly. Common symptoms include neck and shoulder pain, arm and wrist pain, tingling and numbness in the fingers as well as lower back and leg pain.
If you are suffering from these symptoms it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent a chronic injury. Effective treatment can not only relieve your symptoms but prevent symptoms for the future.
For more information, Dr. Kelly Herta, DC at Aligned Health Chiropractic & Wellness Center. 27875 Smyth Dr. # 100, (661)295-5200.