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Tight Wrist, Arms and Shoulders? You may have “Office Worker Syndrome” Part 1

If simple stretches aren’t working, Muscle Release Technique and Chiropractic Adjustments can help.

hand holding wrist pain and tightness
Wrist and forearm pain with extended typing and mouse work

Office worker syndrome is a group of symptoms all stemming from sitting and remaining in the same position for a long time. Try tracking how many hours you sit throughout the whole day (this includes sitting for all meals, any transportation, work, and of course watching tv at home). It can easily come to more than 10 hours a day for most people!

Common symptoms are:

  • Wrist, forearm, arm, and shoulder ache and stiffness

  • Headache and neck pain

  • Chronic back pain

  • Uncomfortable with sitting even small amounts

  • Numbness, tingling, and even weakness in muscles

Tight Wrists

Ever feel the need to roll your wrists around, searching for some temporary relief? Or perhaps find yourself subconsciously stretching your forearm? These are signs that your body craves any type of movement and motion and is becoming highly restricted.

If you’ve tried stretching, changing your table position, moving your body closer to the computer, taking frequent typing breaks, and if you are still having trouble, you may need to consider getting it checked out by our Chiropractors.

Tight Wrists Can Turn Into Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Median nerve carpal tunnel area of pain and numbness anatomy
Common pattern of median nerve entrapment

When repetitive strain injuries of the wrist and hand become too much for the body to handle, there is often a collapse of the arch of your wrist. These 8 small wrist bones normally create a tunnel to allow your nerves to have proper space and movement . Once there is a collapse, your median nerve can become pinched and create symptoms in the hand like:

  • Pain and throbbing ache

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Weakness in your muscles and grip strength

TIP: While all Chiropractors treat the spine, not all treat extremities like the

wrist or hand. Our Chiropractors at Align Chiropractic are specially trained

to check and Adjust all extremities.

What’s lesser known is the common phenomenon called Double Crush Syndrome. Often there is not only damage at the carpal tunnel by the wrist, but also more central near the neck!

Double Crush Syndrome: A Wrist Problem Or Neck Problem?

Anatomy of wrist and carpal tunnel, nerves exiting our of palm

Crush #1: Cervical Spine (Neck)

This can be due to poor posture and old trauma, but left untreated the nerves exiting out of your spine become more sensitive over time and more prone to damage. Many Doctors believe that these first neck injuries create the conditions for carpal tunnel syndrome to occur.This is commonly associated with disc herniations (a.k.a slipped discs).

Crush #2: Repetitive Wrist Strain

Long hours of sedentary computer work cause too much strain on your forearm and wrist, creating nerve compression at your median and ulnar nerve.

Often when carpal tunnel surgery fails, it’s due to an incorrect diagnosis! That is to say, the problem is not where the pain is (in the wrist and hands), it’s in your neck!

The underlying cause of most of these symptoms is lack of motion. Your body is designed to move, and just like a plant that wants to grow, if you don’t give it enough water and sunlight, it will show signs of trouble.

But why do they hurt now when it’s been O.K. for years before?

Muscle Adhesions and Scar Tissue

There are over 50 muscles in your arm and hand alone! With desk bound work, the muscles of your arms and wrists stay extended in a static position for a long time. This repetitive strain causes micro-damage to your muscle, fascia, tendons, and joints. Your body heals these injuries as it can, but often the process creates small scar tissue at the site when the muscle is irritated too long or too frequently.

As the scar tissue builds up, bigger muscle adhesions start to form between the damaged muscles, fascia, tendons, and nerves!

“Muscle adhesions can bind between muscles to limit flexibility and function

We often see this with frequent and intense typing, improper mouse holding (straining the shoulder), and frequent bag carrying.

How Muscle Release Technique Works

Muscle release technique M.R.T. for wrist pain
Wrist extensors Muscle Release Technique

M.R.T. (no, not the train) works by physically breaking up the adhesions in damaged muscles and fascia. Regular massage can not substantially break up the adhesions as classical massage techniques simply glide over the affected areas, and don't get deep enough.

M.R.T. is unique in that it pins the specific area and with active movement, helps to stretch and release the blocked area. This can only be done skillfully with very precise pressure. Too much pressure, and the tissue can’t move. Too little pressure, and you’re back to gliding over the affected area.

This specialized technique speeds up the recovery of soft tissue injuries by breaking down those restricted areas and promoting better flexibility and blood flow to the affected areas.

What to Expect With M.R.T.

Muscle release technique for forearm pronator teres tennis elbow golfers elbow
Gentle but firm Pronator Teres Muscle Release Technique

M.R.T. is often first started with a history, examination, palpation, and then treatment. The treatment is also diagnostic for the Doctor, as the best way to “detect” the muscle adhesion and micro-scar tissue is to actually pin and stretch the affected tissue through active motion.

Your Doctor will work different muscles based on where the adhesions are found, and help mobilize the restricted tissue. Often the muscles can be found to be “stuck” together with an adjacent muscle or nerve, so care needs to be taken with specific release points and pressure.

It is often described as “the most specific and targeted massage ever”, although it is very different from massage. Most patients feel a mild to medium intense muscle lengthening sensation that often creates an immediate positive change in range of motion

It’s important to note that with M.R.T., it is used alongside the powerful Chiropractic Adjustment in our clinic. Temporarily changing tissue (muscle) tone can be very easy, but to make it last and recover properly requires there to be no interference from your Nervous System. That is why get the best and fastest results, you need to treat the nerve, joints, muscles, fascia specific to each patient.

Benefits of M.R.T. and Chiropractic Adjustments

Muscle Release Technique technique is great for tendonitis, overuse injuries, and repetitive strains, and tight/achy muscles like we see in Office Worker Syndrome.

Benefits are:

  • Less stiffness and tension

  • Less pain

  • Improved range of motion

  • Improved fitness and function of the muscle

  • Increased muscle endurance

Most of our patients have a mixture of nerve, structure (joint), and muscular problems that are creating their specific problem. While most Chiropractors only focus on the Spine, we integrate a well-rounded approach to treat all dysfunctions.We find wrist, finger, and arm problems usually have a lot of repetitive stress, and thereby a lot of muscle adhesions.

At Align Chiropractic, our Chiropractors are highly trained to not just treat your spine and joints with Adjustments, but also to detect and correct muscle and fascial adhesions and clear out any scar tissue within the problematic area.

Your muscles and nervous system are incredibly strong and adaptive, but our daily activities are putting a large strain on our healing potential. If you suffer from Office Worker Syndrome and tight wrists, or just want to get checked by our Chiropractors, give us a call or Whatsapp text at +65 8830 9420




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