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Office Worker Elbow

If you’re an office worker and you’ve been dealing with elbow pain, you’re not alone. Many of us spend hours at a desk, typing away on a computer, and sometimes that can lead to discomfort in our elbows. Here we dive into what might be causing your elbow pain, some basics about elbow anatomy, and, most importantly, how we as your Melbourne-based osteos might be able to help.

Elbow Anatomy 101

First things first, let’s understand a bit about your elbow’s anatomy. The elbow is a complex joint formed by the connection of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the radius, and the ulna (the two bones of the forearm). It’s a joint that allows for both bending (flexion) and straightening (extension) of the arm. Ligaments and tendons, like the ulnar collateral ligament and common extensor tendon, provide stability and enable movement. When any of these structures are affected, it can result in elbow pain.

Causes of Elbow Pain for Office Workers

Elbow pain can be caused by various factors, and for office workers, some common culprits come into play:

Repetitive Strain: Typing on a keyboard and using a mouse for extended periods can strain the tendons and muscles around the elbow joint, leading to conditions like tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis).

Poor Ergonomics: An improperly set up workstation can put stress on your elbows and wrists. If your desk, chair, or keyboard height isn’t right, it can lead to awkward arm positioning and increased strain.

Overuse: Working long hours without breaks or frequently performing tasks that involve gripping and lifting can lead to overuse injuries, contributing to elbow pain.

Nerve Compression: Prolonged periods of bending the elbows can compress the ulnar nerve, leading to cubital tunnel syndrome, which can cause pain and tingling in the forearm and hand.

Stress and Tension: Stress can cause muscle tension, which may exacerbate existing elbow pain or trigger discomfort in the first place.

What can we do to help?

How can our osteopaths at Body@Boronia help you find relief from your elbow pain? Osteopathy is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system and aims to improve overall health and well-being. Here’s how an osteopath can assist you:

Assessment and Diagnosis: We will start by thoroughly assessing your condition. We’ll ask you about your symptoms, examine your elbow (and other parts of the upper limb and spine), and possibly perform tests to pinpoint the source of your pain. This diagnostic process helps tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs.

Manual Techniques: Osteopaths use a variety of manual techniques to treat musculoskeletal issues. For elbow pain, they may use techniques like soft tissue manipulation, myofascial release, or joint mobilisation to alleviate tension, improve circulation, and promote healing. 

Ergonomic Advice: Osteopaths often provide advice on ergonomics. We can help you set up your workstation correctly to reduce strain on your elbows and prevent future issues. Even small changes can make a big difference – not surprising when you think about how many hours a day you probably spend stuck at your desk!

Exercise and Rehabilitation: We may recommend specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the elbow and shoulder joint (interesting point – elbow pain is often predisposed by an issue in the neck and shoulder!). These exercises can improve stability and support your recovery.

Preventive Care: Osteopaths don’t just focus on treating the current issue; we also emphasise preventive care. We’ll work with you to develop strategies to reduce the risk of future elbow problems.

Remember that each person’s experience with elbow pain is unique, so we will tailor our approach to your individual needs. The goal is not just to provide relief but to promote long-term healing and well-being.

Can osteopathy help elbow pain?

In conclusion, if you’re an office worker dealing with elbow pain, don’t suffer in silence. Call us for an appointment on 03 9762 9445 and let’s work to get you feeling better. Your elbows work hard to support your daily tasks, so let’s give them the care and attention they deserve to keep you comfortable and pain-free at work and in daily life.

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Physiopedia. [ND] Elbow. [Online] Available at Accessed on 02/09/2023.