“How to beat aches and pains if you are an accountant”

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Accounting is one of the most honored and exacting professions.

While economic pressures have buffeted the profession in recent years, the role of the accountant in helping businesses run properly remains important. Accounting allows a wide variety of specialties to be practiced. In addition to the positives associated with the accounting profession, there are some negatives… including pain.

Being an accountant is a set up for neck pain. The long hours spent hunched over the desk or at the computer can lead to neck strain. This causes muscle aches in the neck and shoulders. You can also get headaches. Let’s face it... dealing with tax codes, tax attorneys, clients, and employees is enough to cause everything to tighten up and hurt!

So what do you do? Well, first, recognize that this is going to happen if you don’t take frequent breaks particularly if you hold your head in one position for a long time. It’s a good idea to stretch before and after a long stint of work.

Your shoulders can also hurt. If you work with your arms held in one position, you can run into a problem called impingement syndrome. This is when your rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder get pinched. It’s a common problem. Specific stretching exercises for the shoulder before and after you do any type of activity that requires arm movement should help. Also, make sure you take frequent breaks. Ice packs after you work sometimes help with the pain as do over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.

Elbow pain is a common problem after any type of repetitive arm motion. Doing any type of repetitive activity can lead to painful condition called lateral epicondylitis. This is a type of tendonitis that affects the outside part of the elbow. Stretching before you work can help as can stretching and ice after you work. Anti-inflammatory medicines, an elbow band, and physical therapy also can help. You may need a cortisone injection. Nowadays, ultrasound guided platelet-rich plasma is considered the treatment of choice for tendon issues.

Hand and wrist pain is another common problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve into the hand gets pinched. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Treatment consists of physical therapy, a splint, and sometime injecting with steroid. In some instances, surgery is required. A new ultrasound guided needle release procedure can often prevent the need for surgery. Different forms of tendonitis can also develop after using your hands and wrists. You can get trigger finger where the finger seems to stick. A painful tendonitis of the thumb can also be a result of repetitive activity.

Low back pain can come on from standing too long in one place or by lifting and carrying heavy articles. Make sure you lift with your legs. You may need to go down on one knee before you lift. Keep your back straight and your head up. Test the item you’re going to lift before you lift it. Don’t twist. Stretch before you work and also afterward. Use ice packs if you strain your back. Over the counter medication can sometimes help also. See your doctor if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a day or two.

Other general tips…

1. Seating. Adjust your chair to fit your body. Make sure your chair allows you to adjust the height, backrest, and arm rest to suit your body type. A chair should let your feet be planted firmly on the ground with your legs at a right angle to the floor and your thighs resting against the cushion. The seat should be rounded in front to prevent cutting off the circulation from behind the knee and your weight should be evenly distributed on the seat. The chair’s height should allow your wrists to be straight while typing. Sit with your shoulders relaxed.

2. Monitors. Elevate the monitor using thick books or tilt the monitor so you can look at the first line of text at eye level. The monitor should be 18-24 inches away. This reduces the risk of eyestrain, headaches, and neck and back pain. Changing the screen brightness and dimming overly bright office lighting might help as well.

3. Consider document holders. Document holders that attach to your monitor and hold documents in front of you at eye level can reduce eyestrain and neck pain as well.

4. Keyboards. Keyboards should be at elbow level. Forearms and wrists should be parallel to the keyboard for typing. A keyboard drawer or an adjustable keyboard platform can go a long way to ensuring a sound ergonomic typing position.

5. Wrist rest. These cushions help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping your wrists straight as you rest your wrists using the mouse. Be careful though. Your wrist should never rest on the cushion as you type or move the mouse.

6. Foot rests. These help take the strain off your back and legs if your chair and desk are not the appropriate height.

7. Alternate between using the mouse and using other pointing devices on the keyboard. This provides a recovery break by using different muscles in the arms and hands.

8. Place the mouse next to the keyboard and move your whole arm to operate the mouse.

9. Take mini breaks during the day. A mini break of 30 seconds for every 10 to 15 minutes of continuous work at the computer should be sufficient. This helps by reducing fatigue.

10. Set a maximum period of 45 minutes to one hour of continuous work at the computer. At the end of this, take a two to five minute rest break. Be sure to stand up during the rest break.

11. Organize your desk so that the items you use most often are within a 14-18 inch reach.

12. Do stretching exercises for the upper body, arms, fingers, back, and legs.

Get more information about arthritis accounting as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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