Shoulder and Arm Pain have become very common in the workplace due to us using computers more and more during our daily work day. We have put together a Shoulder and Arm Pain syndrome guide to help identify any problems you may have and how they can be fixed.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

What is it?
It is a compression injury to the nervous or blood vessel bundles from narrow passageways at the base of the neck passing under your collarbone and into your arm.

Site/Area of pain
Shoulder and Arm

Type of pain/Symptoms
  • The arms and hands feel cool and tire easily. 
  • Vague, aching pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, or hand. 
  • Overhead activities are particularly difficult. 
Most Common Occupational Related Causes
  • Sitting unsupported and leaning forward in chair for prolonged periods 
  • Unnecessary repetitive reaching (especially, overhead movements). 
  • Insufficient back support from chair forcing neck and spine to slouch as the shoulders follow 
  • Typing with your elbows and forearms unsupported and shoulders rolled forward can compress nerves and blood vessels in the armpit. 
Conservative measures of treatment consist of;
  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain 
  • Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder so that they are better able to support the collarbone.
  • Postural exercises can help you stand and sit straighter, which lessens the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. 
  • If you are overweight, your physician may recommend that a weight loss program. 
  • You will need to change your workstation and avoid strenuous activities. 
  • In rare instances, surgery may be recommended if conservative treatment fails. 
Ergonomic Suggestions;
  • Take regular breaks every 30-40 minutes, avoid prolonged unsupported sitting positions. 
  • Use a monitor arm or monitor stand to promote optimal monitor height 
  • Make sure all necessary documentation and equipment are within easy reach. 
  • In- line Document stand to neutralise neck position and prevent unnecessary head tilting while referring to documents 
  • Make sure the chair back is a high back chair to support the spine while seated and not push the shoulders forward. 
  • Forearm support to promote forearm and wrist support while seated