Office workers are the new endurance athletes

preventing injuries

Can office workers be the new athletes? It might sound a bit unusual but we may need to start looking at desk workers like they are athletes and here’s why. We all know that there are tons of overuse injuries when it comes to endurance sports like marathon running, Cycling etc. We now know that sitting at a desk for over 8 hours a day also comes with overused muscles and joints, making us more prone to injuries. Even though you may believe your injuries are due to activities away from your desk at work. Some examples may be bending over to put your shoes on and feeling spasms through your back.

A lot of the time, the issues we are having with our range of motion is due to injuries built up due to poor posture and lack of moving in your day. You then start to notice these issues slowly when you’re moving around the house or exercising.

There are parts of the body that you should be strengthening to help prevent injuries. Watch out for Pec muscle tightness – You may not feel any tightness in this area until you have them massaged but this tightness can lead to mechanical issues in the shoulder and cause tightness in the back and trap area. These issues seem to show up a lot with patients who are doing a lot of burpees or pushups and are experiencing pain in the neck and upper traps.

It’s important to move your neck around a lot instead of keeping it held in one basic position for hours. Make sure to use your deep neck flexors, preventing neck weakness. When there is weakness in the core of your neck, this puts an increased load on the discs and joints of the neck. To help reduce neck pain it is important to strengthen the deep neck flexors.

back pain relief

When it comes to the lower back, specifically in the hips and back there are some things you want to look out for. By sitting at a desk all day long with your hips at a 90 degree angle you may develop tight hip flexors because your hip flexors are shortened. Hip extension is limited over time. Runners beware that you depend on good hip extension so that you don’t extend too much in your lower back. Your lumbar discs may be affected due to the pressure caused by sitting in a chair slumped. This pressure could cause neurological issues and loss of strength.

Just as an athlete would do, you’ll want to stretch, massage and loosen your muscles that are easily prone to tightness. Remember to stretch your quads, hip flexors, traps and pecs. When it comes to strengthening, work on your glutes, core, lower/mid traps and deep neck flexor.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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