Combating Workplace Muscle Strain: 8 Ergonomic Tips and Chiropractic Solutions

In today’s bustling work environments, muscle strain injuries are a prevalent concern, often arising from the demands of daily tasks and repetitive motions. Whether it’s sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, engaging in physically demanding labor, or simply navigating through daily activities, the risk of muscle strain lurks around every corner.

Why Do Muscle Sprains Happen at Work?

Muscle sprains are a prevalent workplace injury, often stemming from various occupational hazards. Repetitive motions, such as typing on a keyboard or operating machinery, can strain muscles over time, leading to sprains and discomfort. Moreover, jobs that entail heavy lifting, such as in construction or warehouse work, pose a significant risk of sprains, particularly in the back, shoulders, and legs. Employees who repeatedly lift heavy objects without proper training or equipment are prone to strains and sprains due to the excessive stress placed on their muscles.

hand pain
Repetitive tasks like typing can cause strain

Poor ergonomics also contribute to workplace-related muscle sprains. Improper workstation setups, including poorly adjusted chairs, desks at incorrect heights, or inadequate support for wrists and arms, can lead to musculoskeletal issues over time. Prolonged sitting or standing in awkward positions without sufficient breaks can exacerbate these problems, causing strains in the neck, back, and wrists.

Sudden movements or accidents in the workplace can also result in muscle sprains. Slip-and-fall accidents, trips over objects, or unexpected collisions can cause individuals to twist or overextend their muscles, leading to sprains in various areas of the body. For instance, sudden jerks or falls can strain the neck, shoulders, or legs, causing acute pain and limited mobility. Implementing proper safety protocols, providing adequate training, and maintaining a clean and organized work environment can help reduce the likelihood of such accidents and subsequent muscle sprains in the workplace.

What Can Employees Do to Prevent Muscle Sprains and Injuries?

Employees can take proactive steps to improve ergonomics and reduce the risk of muscle strain in the workplace:

Taking micro-breaks is beneficial
  1. Communicate with Employers: Advocate for ergonomic improvements in the workplace by communicating concerns and suggesting solutions to employers or supervisors. Participate in ergonomic assessments and provide feedback to help tailor ergonomic solutions to individual needs.
  2. Adjust Workstation Setup: Arrange chairs, desks, and computer equipment to ensure proper alignment. Adjust chair height so feet are flat on the floor and knees are level with hips. Position computer monitors at eye level and directly in front to prevent neck strain. Mayo Clinic has a wonderful diagram and guide for your reference.
  3. Take Regular Breaks: Incorporate short breaks throughout the day to stretch and rest muscles. Use micro-breaks to change positions, stand up, and perform simple stretches to alleviate tension and improve circulation. Micro-breaks have also been shown to boost productivity and help battle burnout.
  4. Practice Proper Posture: Maintain good posture while sitting and standing. Sit upright with shoulders relaxed, back supported, and feet flat on the floor. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, which can strain muscles in the back and neck.
  5. Use Ergonomic Accessories: Use ergonomic tools and accessories, such as wrist rests, ergonomic keyboards and mice, and adjustable monitor stands, to support proper alignment and reduce strain on muscles and joints.
  6. Engage in Regular Exercise: Incorporate regular physical activity into daily routines to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. Focus on exercises that target areas prone to strain, such as the back, neck, and shoulders, to build resilience and prevent injury.
  7. Practice Mindful Movement: Be mindful of body mechanics when performing tasks, such as lifting or reaching. Use proper lifting techniques, bend at the knees and hips instead of the waist and avoid twisting motions that can strain muscles.
  8. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support muscle function. Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients to provide essential fuel for muscles and promote overall health and well-being.

Seeking the Help of a Chiropractor

Chiropractors can offer several ways to help individuals recover from muscle strain injuries:

Spinal Manipulation: Chiropractors use spinal manipulation techniques to realign the spine and joints, which can alleviate muscle tension and improve range of motion. By restoring proper alignment, chiropractic adjustments can reduce strain on surrounding muscles and promote faster healing.

Soft Tissue Therapy: Chiropractors may utilize soft tissue techniques such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy to target specific areas of muscle tension and tightness. These therapies help to relax tight muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce inflammation, facilitating the healing process.

Corrective Exercises: Chiropractors often prescribe specific exercises and stretches to strengthen weakened muscles, improve flexibility, and correct imbalances contributing to muscle strain injuries. These exercises help to rehabilitate injured muscles and prevent future injuries by promoting proper alignment and movement patterns.

Postural Education: Chiropractors provide guidance on proper posture and ergonomics to prevent recurrent muscle strain injuries. By teaching patients how to maintain optimal posture during daily activities and at work, chiropractors help reduce stress on muscles and joints, minimizing the risk of further injury.

Nutritional Advice: Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting muscle recovery and overall healing. Chiropractors may offer dietary recommendations and supplements to support tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and promote optimal musculoskeletal health.

Lifestyle Modifications: Chiropractors work with patients to identify lifestyle factors that may contribute to muscle strain injuries, such as poor ergonomics, repetitive movements, or overexertion.

Overall, chiropractors take a holistic approach to treating muscle strain injuries, addressing the underlying causes of discomfort and promoting comprehensive healing and wellness. Through personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs, chiropractors help individuals recover from muscle strain injuries, restore function, and improve their quality of life. Those in the Snohomish County area are encouraged to contact Dr. Gill, chiropractor at Everett Spine and Rehab, if they are experiencing pain, discomfort or injuries from the workplace. At ESR, we are able to help evaluate and find a personalized regimen to help through this!


Combating Workplace Muscle Strain: 8 Ergonomic Tips
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Combating Workplace Muscle Strain: 8 Ergonomic Tips
Whether it's sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, or engaging in physically demanding labor, the risk of muscle strain lurks around every corner. We talk about ergonomic solutions.
Everett Spine and Rehab
Everett Spine & Rehab
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