Work From Home Aggravating Sick Scapula Syndrome; Hear From Experts

It’s been a year and a half since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which led to lockdowns and restrictions to curb the coronavirus.

With many people still opting to work from home (WFH) to minimize the risk of contracting the dreaded virus, there are rising cases of new or worsening back, neck and shoulder pain mostly among young adults.

Doctors say these cases are due to Sick Scapula Syndrome, also known as Scapular Dyskinesis, which is the abnormal functionality/flexibility of the scapula (shoulder bone) inside the shoulder joint.

“Post the onset of WFH culture and lockdown amidst the pandemic, there has been a 20-25 per cent increase in cases of Sick Scapula Syndrome in young people aged 30-45 years,” Dr Raghu Nagaraj told IANS.

The Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics and Bone and Joint Surgery of Fortis Hospital (Bengaluru Cunningham Road) informed that there’s a higher prevalence of scapular dyskinesis of about 61 per cent among athletes. However, poor sitting posture or long hours of sitting without break has led to a sharp rise in such cases among working people.

The most common symptoms of Sick Scapula Syndrome are pain and difficulty moving the shoulder or arm.

Dr Shubhang Aggarwal, Founder of NHS Hospital (Jalandhar), said that number of cases of musculoskeletal issues due to inactivity or over-exercise have been seen throughout the lockdown.

“The ones related to bad posture being seen, especially now when offline physical sitting in offices has started and the posture changes that we had adapted our bodies to during work from home, need to be changed,” added Dr Aggarwal, an Orthopaedic and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon.

The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint comprising three bones — humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder bone) and clavicle (collarbone). The highest point of humerus shapes the ball that is inside the glenoid of scapula.

“In a work-from-home setting, poor posture at work and prolonged movement of muscles may strain the scapula or the adjoining areas. Being mindful about restoring good posture — standing and sitting properly — while performing everyday activities, warm up and cool down processes before and after exercises, respectively, and avoiding a range of motion when lifting, especially overhead may be of help,” Dr Rajat Mahajan, Spine surgeon, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, told IANS.

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