Office Syndrome is a health issue that is common among working adults, particularly those who work in offices where they have to sit in place and stare at computer screens for long periods. This group faces a greater risk of Office Syndrome than others. Generally, the condition is caused by inflammation and tightening of muscles that lead to neck pain, body aches and pain, which is followed subsequently by chronic back pain.
The Cause of Office Syndrome
Chronic back pain is a significant symptom of Office Syndrome that can occur to office workers at all levels – from executives to operation staff, as well as production line workers. There are 2 main causes of the condition. These are:
- The weakening of muscles due to a lack of attention and exercise.
- Improper postures during work. For example, remain seated for extended periods, hunching over or keeping raised shoulders while sitting, or placing the computer monitors at inappropriate heights and the workers are forced to look down or up so much that it causes chronic neck and back pains.
Fortunately, the various aches and pain – especially in the back area – that arise from Office Syndrome generally are not severe and may subside naturally with sufficient rest, or an initial treatment (e.g., hot or cold presses), or medication, etc.
Office Syndrome Prevention
- Regular persistent exercises, no less than 30 minutes every 4 – 5 days a week, to enhance muscles strength.
- Office workers who need to sit for extended periods should change their postures every 1 – 2 hours, to allow the muscles that have been overworked and are tiring to relax. This can be accomplished through, for example, stretching – stretch tautly for a given period to add flexibility and to relax the muscles, as well as to reduce much of the aches and pain.
Is It Office Syndrome or Some Other Spinal Disorders?
There are some spinal disorders that appear to be similar to Office Syndrome, but are more severe and raise a risk of dangerous conditions such as pinched nerves or herniated discs.
Observable symptoms of spinal disorders generally include numbness that accompanies the pain, pain that spreads to other parts of the body, altered control of some functions such as distorted handwriting, Night Pain (i.e., severe pain at night). If these symptoms still persist even with some rest and an initial treatment, they can be considered abnormal back pain; and you should consult a doctor for a proper treatment.
For experienced doctors, before prescribing a treatment, they will follow in-depth diagnosis procedures based on the following 4 important principles:
- Severity of the pain. Determine how much the pain is interfering with the patient’s daily activities.
- The need for medication to control the pain.
- Through medical examination, discover effects on neuro pathways. For example, the patient experiences additional numbness or weakness, or exhibits spinal deformity.
- Information from special diagnoses – such as X-ray, MRI as needed.
Having based the diagnosis on the above 4 principles, the doctor will prescribe a treatment that can be initial care through a change of postures, weight control, medication, as well as physical therapy. However, if the symptoms do not improve, a direct approach by means of a surgery will have to be considered as a more effective method to treat spinal disorders.
Bangkok International Hospital is a leading private hospital that is determined to offer all patients with internationally recognized quality medical services. We are prepared to provide a full array of treatments for spinal disorders through collaborations between our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons who are all equipped with the latest in medical and technological proficiencies. Our surgical service includes a speedier surgery that yields small incisions and is, thus, less painful; while also reducing risks as well as recovery time. This consists of:
- Microsurgery that employs a high-powered microscope, enabling the surgeon to clearly see the nerve and spinal disc that need to be repaired. In addition, because there is a beam of light from the scope illuminating the problem area, the surgeon can see its every detail and, therefore, can avoid the possibility of damaging any nerve which can lead to complications after the surgery. Moreover, as this method does not require large incisions, the patient will experience less discomfort and will be able to recover quicker.
- Surgery with Computerized 3D Imaging and Navigator. This method employs an O-arm computerized imaging system in conjunction with a surgical Navigation System, to enhance the effectiveness of the procedure. The imaging system records and relays 3-dimentional pictures of the spine during the surgery. As it works together with Stealth Station of the navigator, the surgeon is given the ability to determine and mark the location for the operation with accuracy at millimeter level.
- Intraoperative Monitoring (IOM) that tracks the status of neuro pathways in the form of electrical signals. It alerts the surgeon to any risk of injuring or damaging a nerve during the surgery. This method is suitable for repeated or more complex procedures such as correcting scoliosis, treating a severely herniated disc, etc.
At Bangkok International Hospital, with modern technology, our qualified professionals stand ready to care for our patients. In any case, paying attention to your health regularly to reduce the risk of an illness remains an important factor that will allow a full range of treatments, should one ever be needed, for a successful outcome.