The Many Benefits Of Physiotherapy: Pain Management Guide For Desk Jobs

Discover the many benefits of physiotherapy and how it can help you heal your body and relieve work-related pain and ailments. Learn what specialised physiotherapy offers and how it can improve your overall health, productivity, and quality of life.

By URLife Team
17 Jan 2023

According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA)) , a multimodal physiotherapy program has been found to be effective in relieving work-related musculoskeletal pain in office workers. Therefore, it is safe to say that on site physiotherapy and occupational health clinics (OHCs) can effectively improve employees' health and productivity.

Are you an office worker who spends most of the day sitting at a desk? If so, you're not alone. Many of us have sedentary office lifestyles that can put us at risk of developing mobility issues or health issues. But it's important to remember that just because we have to sit behind a desk during the day doesn't mean we have to suffer the adverse side effects.

In fact, there are active interventions that you can leverage, such as physiotherapy, to help prevent these problems. We will explore the benefits of physiotherapy for office workers and how it can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, even in a sedentary setting.


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Physical Problems Faced While Working

Musculoskeletal disorders are a common concern for office workers who spend long hours sitting at a desk. These disorders can affect the fingers, hands, wrists, back, and other parts of the body and can be caused by repetitive motion, poor posture, and prolonged periods of inactivity. Let's examine in detail how physiotherapy can assist in managing these issues.

1. Relief from Finger, Hand, and Wrist Issues

A sedentary lifestyle might be one of the reasons for recurring hand pain because of excessive movement while operating the laptop. Some common conditions that may arise as a result of a sedentary lifestyle include:

  • Triggers Finger Pain: Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, this condition occurs when the tendons in the finger become inflamed and make it difficult to bend or straighten the finger. It can be caused by overuse or repetitive strain, such as typing on a computer keyboard for extended periods of time. Symptoms may include pain and a popping sensation when attempting to move the finger.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is another condition that can affect office workers. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, becomes compressed. This can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers. It can be caused by repetitive hand movements or a wrist injury.
  • Decreased Grip Strength: Decreased grip strength is another issue that office workers may experience. This can be caused by overuse, muscle fatigue, or inflammation in the hand or wrist. It can make it difficult to hold onto objects or perform tasks that require a strong grip.


Now let's talk about how physiotherapy can help tackle these problems. Physiotherapy is a form of treatment that focuses on improving movement and function in the body. It can help manage pain and improve mobility in the hand and wrist.

A physiotherapist may recommend stretches and exercises to improve flexibility and strength, as well as assistive devices such as splints or grippers to help manage the condition. Overall, physiotherapy can be an effective way to manage finger, hand, and wrist pain and improve function in office workers.


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2. Physiotherapy Sessions Can Help You Beat Back Pain

Approximately 40-80% of office workers are at risk of developing back and spinal problems due to prolonged periods of sitting and poor posture as per National Institute of Health. These problems can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, and may even result in long-term disability.

Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for these issues. A physiotherapist can assess the cause of the problem and develop a personalised treatment plan to help alleviate pain and improve spinal health.

This may include exercises to strengthen the back and improve flexibility, as well as techniques to correct posture and improve ergonomics. In addition to these hands-on treatments, a physiotherapist may provide education on preventing future back and spinal problems.


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3. Say Goodbye to Arthritis Pain Through Physiotherapy

Prolonged periods of sitting and repetitive tasks can put stress on the joints, particularly in the hands, neck, and shoulders. This can cause arthritis to develop or aggravate existing cases. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for reducing pain and improving joint function in individuals with arthritis.

A physiotherapist can provide exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints and improve flexibility. They may also use techniques such as joint mobilisation or soft tissue massage to reduce stiffness and improve their range of motion.


4. Tight Hips, Reduced Mobility, Strained Hamstrings

Physiotherapy can help to alleviate work-related pain and mobility issues such as tight hips and strained hamstrings through a variety of techniques. These may include stretching and strengthening exercises, manual therapy to release muscle tension, and modalities such as heat or cold therapy to reduce inflammation. It is important to seek the help of a physiotherapist or other healthcare professional to diagnose and treat these conditions properly.

While taking care of our health is important, individuals with busy schedules may not have the time to visit a physiotherapist for treatment. Office clinics can help by providing physiotherapy services onsite, making it more convenient for individuals to receive the care they need without having to take time off work or fit appointments into their busy schedules.


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The Benefits of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that can help individuals improve their physical function and manage a wide range of conditions. Some of the benefits of physiotherapy for office workers include:

1. Reducing or Eliminating Pain And Improving Mobility

Physiotherapy can help reduce or eliminate pain through a variety of techniques such as manual therapy (e.g. massage, joint mobilization), exercise, and education on pain management strategies. Improving mobility refers to increasing your range of motion, flexibility, and strength, which can be achieved through exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist. For office workers, different modes of physiotherapy are often a blessing as it helps them regulate their pain and get them back into the office faster.


2. Avoiding Surgery By Using Non-Invasive Techniques

Physiotherapy can be used as an alternative to surgery for certain conditions by using non-invasive techniques such as exercise, manual therapy, and education. These techniques can help address issues such as musculoskeletal injuries, chronic pain, and certain neurological conditions.


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3. Recovering From A Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of disability, and physiotherapy can play a crucial role in the recovery process. Physiotherapy can help stroke survivors improve their mobility, balance, and coordination through exercises and other techniques.

If you are working and have suffered a stroke, then physiotherapy is even more important as it can get you back to your duties sooner.


4. Recovering From or Preventing Sports Injuries

Physiotherapy can help athletes recover from sports injuries by developing a rehabilitation program that includes exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and function. Physiotherapy can also help prevent sports injuries by educating athletes on proper technique and providing training to improve performance.


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5. Improving Balance And Preventing Falls

Falls are a common concern for older adults, and physiotherapy can help improve balance and prevent them by working on strength, coordination, and flexibility. This can be achieved through exercises such as balance training and functional mobility training.


6. Managing Diabetes And Vascular Conditions

Physiotherapy can help individuals with diabetes and vascular conditions by improving circulation and mobility. This can be achieved through exercises that improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.


7. Managing Age-related Issues

Physiotherapy can help manage age-related issues such as arthritis and osteoporosis through exercise and manual therapy. Exercise can help improve strength, flexibility, and function, while manual therapy (e.g. massage, joint mobilization) can help reduce pain and improve mobility.


8. Managing Heart And Lung Disease

Physiotherapy can help individuals with heart and lung disease by improving physical function and increasing endurance. This can be achieved through exercises that improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, as well as education on strategies to manage the condition.


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