Computer use and cervical spondylosis?

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I have been off work since the end of May and Cervical Spondylosis was diagnosed by the Occupational Health doctor via the Local Authority for whom I work. This discomfort and pain started and deteriorated whilst working on the computor at work. The OH doctor says it is age related and will not attribute this problem to the fact that I spend most of my working life in front of a computor. I have had physio and acupuncture and they say it is to do with posture. This treatment has not resolved the problem and I have now been refered to the Ortheopedic Service. I am fighting this with the help of Unison. Has anyone out there had a similar experience. :evil:

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  • Posted

    Hi Rob

    I have been sacked on the grounds of incapacity ( despite being disabled )by the NHS trust I worked for and strongly believe that Cervical Spondylosis has everyting to do with Work Station Health and Safety. There was action taken to have this condition described as an Industrial Disease a few years ago but the the action failed. I am sure that it would have opened up such a flood of claims that there was pressure to blame age.

    You will find that the research is very poor and hence why the action failed. Also Cervical Spondylosis is treated by Neurologists and Orthopaedic Teams with no obvious channel to ensure that Occupational Health Departments take responsibility. The soldiers in the trenches used to get this condition from carrying large kitbags and developed Cervical Spondylolisthesis ( one veretebra going over the other ) which is what I have developed.

    Did you have regular Work Station Assessments and have you got all the paperwork for this. I was certainly surrounded by large heavy files and had to access them from very high shelves. Cramped desk conditions I am convinced contributed to my condition which I developed 5 years ago at the age of 52 after working in the job for one and half years without any Work Station Assessments. I was perfectly fit and healthy prior to this and had worked in very pleasant conditions - no problem.

    Unfortunately I did not belong to a union so I would be very interested if they are able to help you. Please keep us all posted.

    Good luck with your medical appointment.

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  • Posted

    My CS is thankfully in my left arm, which makes driving interesting, but atleast allows me to continue working, as my right arm does most of the work on the PC (mouse-wise atleast).

    My doctor recently said both age and working at a desk/screen/bad posture attributed to it. I have worked at a desk staring at a screen in some form or another for atleast 25 years.

    He said, rightly or wrongly, that the position of the CS depends on what you do for a living,or what you find the majority of your time doing, and also that age/general wear and tear is a part of it too.

    This obviously doesn't help your legal situation, and as I have moved about 7 jobs during my career, its not really something I can point to a specific period in my life as a cause, but I wish you luck.

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  • Posted

    [quote:26419ce7fb=\"Lopes\"]Hi Rob

    I have been sacked on the grounds of incapacity ( despite being disabled )by the NHS trust I worked for and strongly believe that Cervical Spondylosis has everyting to do with Work Station Health and Safety.[/quote:26419ce7fb]

    Surely you are protected under the DDA for this?

    Can an employer \"sack\" you on grounds lik ethis? Is this legal?

    Outraged.

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  • Posted

    I work at a computer all day and even at the weekend as I am studying. I do find that it makes it worse. My pain is in my right shoulder and arm and my fingers swell up and at night they tingle and I get dreadful pins and needles in them.

    I try to move about as much as I can but doesn't really help when it is really bad. I also sometimes find it hard to type (stupid really cos that is what I do all day).

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  • Posted

    I have only realised in the last 12 months that what I have is C.S and it is a relief to find so many other sufferers. My brother in law suggested it may be this as he suffers from it himself (he is in his seventies). Unbelievably, my GP gave no definitive answer and even gave the \"Tommy Cooper\" response when I said it hurts to turn and move my head - [b:c2fb422c4a]\"Well don't do it then !\"[/b:c2fb422c4a]. He didn't even confirm that it was, in fact, CS that I was suffering from.

    Rather unusually, my job involves long periods at a computer and also a lot of looking upwards at ceilings and roofs.

    As I am nearly 65 this should cease when I retire (well, the looking up part anyway).

    Mine is the classic back of the neck and head pain, sometimes spreading to my shoulder. Paracetomol usually helps.

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  • Posted

    I forgot to mention that one of the most difficult things is turning my head whilst driving. I will have to get a car with a swivel seat !
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  • Posted

    HI,

    I've had c/spond for 30 years. I'm a decorator, so my work involves a lot of looking upwards, painting ceilings etc. I now always get someone to do this for me (no matter the expense) just to avoid reactivating the problem. Never look directly overhead as I have found this is the worst culprit. Try not to do any work /effort above the shoulder horizontal or if you must always ensure you have comfortable access and dont overstretch. Also, anyone with c/spond should be wary of sleeping in a draught as this can turn a minor irritation into a prolonged

    nightmare. Although the neck stiffness/pain may initially be started by some action, such as looking overhead, I believe the severity of the neck pain is totally dependant on sleeping arrangements...it seems to set in whilst asleep and as mornings are always the worst (headaches, muggyness etc. ) this would confirm the relationship between sleep and aggravation of the problem.

    Always be wary of sleeping in a draught. Vary your arrangements and find a solution that works best for you.

    The car/driving thing can be another aggravator.

    Try keeping driver side window closed and use mirrors to look behind. I know it can be difficult to change habits but if it makes you feel better,

    why not?

    My goal is to manage the c/.spond with as few painkillers (nurofen) as poss. but I realise that there will be times when these offer the only relief. When neccessary, I take 2 first thing in morning and then half an hour later eat some food. This usually sees me through the day until I can have a nap on sofa which in turn seems to help .

    As for doctors / physios etc., I don't like to be cynical but you could waste a lot of time following their 'advice', taking painkillers etc only to find they are covering up their lack of professionalism when it comes to this condition.

    Over many years they have never once mentioned working/looking overhead or sleeping in draughts. Trust your instincts!

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  • Posted

    considering gerry that you have had cs for 30yrs, you have been lucky in the fact you can just take nurofen. i have been through of a whole gamut of drugs and i am now on major opiates(oxycontin) not much else left to do. i am taking steps to come of these drugs because i am essentially addicted. not many people understand the pain we have gone through.i read your posts and had a laugh and some sympathy but thanks for your imput.
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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    You're probably right to say I've been lucky to be able to rely on nurofen especially when I read some peoples experiences with industrial strenght painkillers. It's a relative thing , I suppose, like the old anecdote...Whats the difference between a major and a minor operation...Answer..everyone elses is minor! Back in the old days (before nurofen) I used to take a lot of ineffective painkillers,so I am grateful that nurofen works for me and I don't have to go with more habit forming drugs. I do hope you can ease off the heavy stuff and at the risk of sounding like I dont know what I'm talking about, I hope you find other ways of managing the problem . However, I do think there are times when only the drugs work.

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  • Posted

    [quote:06ea19844e=\"Lopes\"]Hi Rob

    I have been sacked on the grounds of incapacity ( despite being disabled )by the NHS trust I worked for and strongly believe that Cervical Spondylosis has everyting to do with Work Station Health and Safety. There was action taken to have this condition described as an Industrial Disease a few years ago but the the action failed. I am sure that it would have opened up such a flood of claims that there was pressure to blame age.

    You will find that the research is very poor and hence why the action failed. Also Cervical Spondylosis is treated by Neurologists and Orthopaedic Teams with no obvious channel to ensure that Occupational Health Departments take responsibility. The soldiers in the trenches used to get this condition from carrying large kitbags and developed Cervical Spondylolisthesis ( one veretebra going over the other ) which is what I have developed.

    Did you have regular Work Station Assessments and have you got all the paperwork for this. I was certainly surrounded by large heavy files and had to access them from very high shelves. Cramped desk conditions I am convinced contributed to my condition which I developed 5 years ago at the age of 52 after working in the job for one and half years without any Work Station Assessments. I was perfectly fit and healthy prior to this and had worked in very pleasant conditions - no problem.

    Unfortunately I did not belong to a union so I would be very interested if they are able to help you. Please keep us all posted.

    Good luck with your medical appointment.[/quote:06ea19844e]

    Hi I am due to be redeployed to a lighter working environment at the moment due to cs and I am a nurse who works in the NHS. However will have to wait to see what jobs they come up with dont hold out much hope.

    I thought perhaps a desk job would be better but judging by what you say working at a desk is not suitable either I am 43 and dont know where to go from here.

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  • Posted

    Hello Gerry the neck - wow, you're so lucky to be just taking Nurofen for your pains. I also was a decorator for over 30 years - but I'm virtually crippled with pain now mate - I've had to give up work and go on Incapacity Benefit. There was no way on this earth that I was able to carry on decorating. The pains are now so bad that i'm trying to claim Disability Benefit, because sometimes I can hardly walk!!

    The only painkiller that I've found to be of any benefit to me is TRAMADOL

    but I can only take three per day: and I take two at night when I'm in bed.

    I've got severe pains everywhere and you might not know this but \"us \"boys can get VIAGRA free off the NHS - The cs has made me [impotent]

    So being that cs it's classed as spinal damage - it qualifies for VIAGRA

    If your doctor say's no - dont listen to him because it's a fact

    There's other symptoms that suffers may not know about:

    Dizzy spells or caused by cs - so too is ringing in the ears. I've got all these things - I got the lot thrown at me but my GP is very good and is very understanding about cs. You can only be diagnosed as having CS by having a MIR scan - if you haven't had one, nobody will ever listen to you

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  • Posted

    Hi Alan D,

    Sorry it's taken so long to respond. I guess I was mulling over the description \"lucky\" in disbelief and hoping for some appropriate response to materialise. I don't consider it lucky to have had to consume copious quantities of painkillers of any description over the last 30 years. Much the opposite. However, I do sympathise with anybody who has had to endure more severe c/s( or even less severe for that matter) than I have experienced and wish them all the pain relief in the world. It's all relative and really bears no comparison. There are people out there today, in the peak of physical fitness with no medical conditions, who are probably hopelessly suicidally depressed by a mole on their face! I might be exaggerating here.

    There were many times, and still are, when I have seriously considered packing in my decorating work for an easier existence and, although I haven't yet reached the point of no return, I consider it almost daily. However, I seem to have convinced myself that I enjoy my work, when I'm fit, and I am reluctant to give up an independant lifestyle. Also, as self employed I can take time out when the going gets rough. I wouldn't qualify for benefits as I can still function, mostly. I would have difficulty meeting the requirements of a 9 to 5 job.

    I could say that I have often thought that it might be harder to continue to compete in the world of work with manageable c/s than to resign myself to a less troublesome lifestyle on benefits ....but at the back of my mind I know that I need the activity to divert myself from thinking too negatively. Perhaps, if I had my own family, I would opt for a more organic lifestyle...and I could find a use for some of your spare viagra.

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    • Posted

      Hello Gerry,

      It's a long time since you wrote on this patient info site and I'm wondering if this e-mail will reach you. I'm devastated as I've just been diagnosed with cervical Spondylosis at the hospital and there seems to be no cure for this. I've just been given acupuncture and exercises. I've been in tears at the hospital as I've just got over a knee replacement operation and will have been off of work for 3 months in all but was wanting to go back again. I wondered if you managed to carry on with your decorating job or if you had to give it up? Also if you're still on the Neurofen. I don't think I could bear years and years on strong painkillers. I'm thinking of trying to get a different type of job so I'm not sitting all day at a computer. The cervical Spondylosis has left me with bad pins and needles in my arms and fingers. I don't have any family and with not working am spending time today wondering where to go from here. Any suggestions would be really welcome. Roz the neck

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  • Posted

    Just to revisit the \"Lucky\" badge which has been affixed to me twice on this page, here is what I really think (a response has materialised) . Arrogant, pompous, opinionated and self obsessed - I might have trouble denying these fine attributes (perhaps secretly I may feel a little pride). Facetious, well I can go there if neccessary. But, for the life of me, I don't see \"Lucky\" on my personal Acceptable Scale of Slights . Get the picture? There , you see, I spent 9 months building up an image as a concientious sympathetic poster and I've just blown it!!
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  • Posted

    [quote:9874d60f65=\"mouse\"]I work at a computer all day and even at the weekend as I am studying. I do find that it makes it worse. My pain is in my right shoulder and arm and my fingers swell up and at night they tingle and I get dreadful pins and needles in them.

    I try to move about as much as I can but doesn't really help when it is really bad. I also sometimes find it hard to type (stupid really cos that is what I do all day).[/quote:9874d60f65][b:9874d60f65][i:9874d60f65] i worked carrying heavy bags and pushing over weight trollies due to management discresion do as they say or else my union was no help he told me to shut up and get on with this they medically retired me sayingi coulnt do the job when their ohs and my doctor said i could but lighter weights or indoor work they didnt even try to find me another job that suited even though i was covered by the dda it all stemd by a accident at work when a manager didnt put a ramp up securly and the trolly that i was made to push up the ramp on to a van fell on my back and neck the ramp collapsed ence trolley weighing 131kg fell on me i was pushed out lof my job ands to top it all they made me carry on work that day[/i:9874d60f65][/b:9874d60f65]

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