Treatment for Computer Related Injuries
Doctors find treatment of computer related injuries challenging because they are a multi-faceted problem often compounded by stress.
Computer related injuries often go unreported and initial symptoms are treated inappropriately due to lack of awareness among medical professionals.
Tightness, stiffness and pain in the upper extremities are the usual complaints of regular computer users. Repetitive stress injuries, occupational problems of the upper extremities, low back pain, have now come to be classified under the rubric Computer Related Syndrome (CRS) or Computer Related Injuries (CRI). These injuries while causing a work slowdown have also triggered a whole field of medical exploration.
Doctors find treatment of computer related injuries challenging because they are a multi-faceted problem often compounded by stress. Usual prescriptions for CRI symptoms are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or anti-convulsant medications such as gabapentin to reduce neuropathic pain.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Starting treatment at an early stage has shown long term results. Conventional treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the nature of the underlying condition that cause the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen and wrist splints may be prescribed to manage the symptoms, and in certain cases a corticosteroid may injected into the local area. In the advanced stage, surgery might be recommended to release the pressure in the carpal tunnel to avoid permanent nerve damage. Though wrist braces and splints are effective, people are reluctant to use them due to inconvenience.
Physiotherapy such as soft tissue massages, conservative stretches, exercises and other techniques to work on the nerve tissue are known to reduce pain and swelling, mainly by improving blood circulation.
Massage by a trained masseuse has proved beneficial in some cases and is widely recommended for pain relief for CRI.
Muscular therapy, known to work wonders for tight muscles, is touted as the new solution for muscular strain, pain and injury.
Acupuncture is also seen to be helpful in relieving common symptoms such as neck pain, shoulder stiffness, eye-strain, and headache in people with computer related syndrome.
Computer related injuries have initiated a whole new field of medical exploration. Doctors are advised to get trained, set up multidisciplinary teams or send patients to specialty centers with proven expertise in treating computer -related injuries.
A word of caution to medical practitioners:
- Do not prescribe multivitamin injections, antidepressants or steroids for patients who report CRI symptoms.
- Do not advise splints while working.
- Do not encourage masking pain using strong pain killers.
- CRS Computer Related Syndrome: Prevention and Treatment of Computer Related Injuries by Dr. Richard Dean Smith and Steven T. Garske (1997)
- Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer Userís Guide by Dr. Emil Pascarelli and Deborah Quilter (1994) (Paperback)
- It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals by Jack Bellis and Suparna Damany (2001) (Paperback)