If you work sitting at a desk, you might assume that you’re not much at risk from injury, but the Toronto physiotherapists and chiropractors at our clinics treat many patients who are office workers.

While injuries in active sports may occur more often in the legs and lower body, when it comes to office work, it’s the hands, wrists, and elbows that often bear the brunt of the strain from repeated motions or imbalances.

The best treatment is prevention; here’s a look at the problem, and how to minimize that risk.


Tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons, is an injury that can occur at the elbow, forearm, hand, or wrist. It is easily the most common RSI or repetitive strain injury.

Computer or Mouse Elbow

This injury is called lateral epicondylitis – or tennis elbow. It’s cause by repeatedly gripping or squeezing something – like a computer mouse – and you’ll feel pain in the muscle, tendons, or both. Sometimes it’s also called writer’s elbow.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a kind of route made up of ligaments and bones that takes the median nerve from the wrist to the base of the hand. It can become inflamed through over-use of the hand and wrist, especially under less than optimal conditions.

Proactive Tips:

There are many ways that you can help to avoid the undue stresses that contribute to hand and lower arm injuries.

  • Keeping your mouse handy and making it easy to reach helps to reduce strain.
  • It should be right by your side where it’s easy for hand to access without reaching – and don’t bend your wrist.
  • Find a mouse that fits neatly into the palm of your hand – not too big and not too small.
  • Keep your keyboard directly in front of you.
  • Use a wrist pad to cushion your wrist movements.
  • Keep your elbow at about a 90-degree angle, and forearm straight through your wrist and your fingers.
  • Avoid resting your elbow and forearm on a hard surface.
  • Adjust your chair or your computer – don’t reach farther.
  • Every 30 minutes or so, stretch your fingers back towards your hand.
  • Roll your shoulders and be conscious of tension in your shoulder muscles that affects the whole arm.
  • Exercise to increase muscle strength in your lower arms and wrists. Your Toronto physiotherapists or sports medicine specialist can show you how.

If you are experiencing any problems with your elbow, wrist or hands, or you’d like more information on prevention, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics for a consultation.