Chiropractic & Physiotherapy

Is tingling or numbness a trend with desk job workers?

Just recently, Healthworks was invited to organize a spinal health screen amongst desk job workers. Within two days, we’ve managed to screen roughly about 120 people. Interestingly enough, numbness and tingling in the hand was one of the major symptoms that were reported during the health screen. So is numbness and tingling a trend amongst desk job workers?

According to a study of causes of hand tingling in Visual Display Workers (VDT), tingling in the hand is one of the most frequent symptoms amongst desk job workers. Of course, this study has excluded the possibilities of vascular diseases, inflammation, tumour, trauma, endocrine, and nerve system disease. It is also noted that the myofascial pain syndrome was the biggest cause of hand tingling on the VDT workers in this study.

The next, in order, was cervical radiculopathy, rotator cuff syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tenosynovitis. Myofascial pain syndrome is pain and inflammation in body tissues. It may involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. Sometimes, the pain generated may not be localised, ie. pain referred from neck muscles to palm of hand. With it, abnormal sensation like numbness or tingling can be induced. Certain muscles like the trapezius, subscapularis and infraspinatus were able to refer numbness or tingling sensation to the fingers.

Radiculopathy, a term for pinched nerves, which is caused by the mechanical compression of the nerve root.  When the nerves in the neck are being “pinched”, symptoms like neck pain, numbness and tingling and weakness in arms and hands can be noted.  Nerve roots of C6—C8 are the common areas of compression. According to dermatomal pattern, this would mean that tingling or numbness would happen in the hands.

At Healthworks, clients who exhibit these symptoms, usually are secondary to spinal issues like disc degeneration, OA or even due to the degeneration of the spinal joints. Repetitive work requires maintaining specific posture while the specific muscles and tendons are used consistently and it damages on the soft tissue and can create restriction on the pain and movement due to inflammation. This could be seen with carpal tunnel syndrome. The powerful and repetitive movement of hands and wrists, and the use of vibrational tools were known as the work-related risk factors. However, this could only be seen with repetitive and awkward position during typing. If the wrist structures are placed in an awkward position for a long time, this allows the tendons or nerved to be inflamed causing a restriction in the tunnel which result in the compression of the median nerve. Numbness or tingling sensation is one of many symptoms that can be due to the spine.

If you are currently experiencing these symptoms, consult your chiropractor or physiotherapist today to help you with your symptoms.