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

    Gerry mate, I was like you I really loved my job - decorating people's houses is a very rewarding way of life - it's like being an artist, and you meet so many nice people - and of course you get paid for it!! But I believe it was the decorating that was the main cause for my CS.

    I wasn't possible for me to carry on, I started to get dizzy spells, you cant be working 30' up a ladder and get dizzy like I was.

    I had absolutely no choice but to give it up and go on Incapacity Benefit, and believe me I really didn't want to.

    This is why I called you \"lucky\" Nobody who has got CS is lucky, we're all in a lot of pain - but with me it progressed to such an extent that it became unbearable. I've been trying to get DLA - read my page to see what this country is like when you try to make a claim. It will shock you, because it does me - I'm still fighting, one day when you can no-longer do the decorating , you may thank me for what I'm trying to do for \"us\" sufferers. All the best, Alan

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    • Posted

      Hi Guest, I got mine from desk work but it sounds like yours is also a form of RSI, i.e. bending the head back over extended periods which strains the neck. 

      When I started getting neck pain in my 40's I tried being part time and then in the last couple of years had to change career completely - very difficult to do when most jobs out there that are not computer based are also really badly paid, so the drop in income has been and continues to be really difficult to cope with. 

      However, as soon as I stopped working with computers my neck pain has gone, so I would say to anyone to stop when you get the warning signs by doing a different job so that you can heal. 

      Guest, have you tried alternative therapies that are relaxing such as yoga, aromatherapy and gentle forms of therapy such as cranio-sacral therapy?

      It's such a shame no-one warns younger people that this will happen to them if they spend 20 or 30 years doing the same thing over and over as you can see the same thing continuing to happen to many people in the future. 

      Good luck with DLA

      Christine

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  • Posted

    Hi rob what has unison said as I have this condition and also had severe carpal tunnel in both hands which were operated on last year I have to go to an informal meeting at work regarding my sickness but some days I am in agony 

    many thanks

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  • Posted

    Hi Rob, I am 51, and have spent over 30 years working as an accountant so starting at computers very intensively most of that time as a full time accountant. In my forties I started getting bad neck pain that was stopping me sleeping and dizziness. I went to the doctor got an x-ray and was told I had cervical spondylosis which was just wear and tear. I did also have a neck trauma when I was 14 after a blow to the head so looking back I wonder if this has pre-disposed me to the condition. But I am sure that without a doubt computer use is either partly or wholly to blame, but if you try to suggest this no-one will accept it. You will find a campaign of silence on the subject and I believe this is because computers are now so central to most jobs that it would cause such a disruption to peoples lives to change long held habits. When I left one job and gave the reason the fact that working with computers was giving me migraines, foggy head etc and feeling awful, I was told that would not be the 'official' reason for me leaving. Employers don't want to accept that something so intrinsic in working life is potentially so damaging to health. And instead you will be scapegoated as being weak or defective in some way. 

    I think the difficult lesson to learn is that you have to change the job you do to avoid computers - very difficult to do and also the pay is usually much less than you get with a traditional office job. But it's either that or your longer-term health, so to me there is unfortunately not much choice! I now work as a support worker and have started to make jewellery to sell, so anything that only involves small amount of computer use, and guess what.... my pain, dizziness, muscle tension vanishes! 

    So I have no symptoms anymore, yet if they were to x-ray my neck they would say 'oh you have cervical spondylosis' because it doesn't go away... confusing eh! 

    All the best to you - at least you have a union helping you

    Kind regards

    Christine

     

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  • Posted

    Hi there Rob, I know it's been a long time since your post, but I have also been diagnosed several years ago with Cervical spondylosis after suffering with really bad neck pain and a feeling that I couldn't relax my neck no matter what I did. I noticed if I avoided staring at a computer it improved/disappeared. This meant I decided to leave my well paid accounting career after 30 years. This has resulted in financial pain and hardship, as there are so few jobs that do not revolved around staring at the dreaded screen, and most of those pay pretty badly. I recently tried to get back into accounting again after several years of having had no neck pain but the long drive for an interview (I was planning to relocate) 3 hours each way, was enough to give me the neck pain back all over again and a headache and throbbing sensation right inside the vertebrae at the top of the neck where it joins the skull. I was also unable to sleep that evening with the throbbing and spasm type pain that this one day brought on. And of course driving is very similar for wear and tear on neck as it's holding your head unnaturally still for many hours. So I have come to the conclusion I cannot do any job which involves holding the head in a fixed position for large parts of the day. I found holding my neck with my hands while lying flat really helped, something which I've now learned is self-healing (reiki) which I am now studying to do. But I have to say Rob that you will not find anyone who will dare to say that it caused by using a computer as the ramifications for most of the population and their health is huge, and of course huge cases for compensation coming from large numbers of people against their employers. The trouble is that accounting is one of the worst for having to really stare and concentrate at the screen for long periods of time. Add time stress/deadlines etc and you do not even have time/opportunity to take breaks and move the neck around. You will hear doctors say that it is wear and tear (interesting how people living in the Rainforest don't get it!) Anyway, all I can suggest is you change your lifestyle accordingly, turn it into a plus even if it's tough to lose a well paid career, and take charge of your own health to safeguard it for the long-term. 

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Dizzy,

       I am in the same boat.  I found a ton of helpful resources on youtube (search forward head position or posture).  There are many exercises to do and I agree it is going to become an epidemic soon with the constant use of smartphones and desk jobs. 

      A good massage therapist and chiropractor can also work wonders. 

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  • Posted

    Yes worked on computer for 25 years 12-14 hour days, it caused me to have a cervical fusion (bad decision) I worked another 8 years but was in constant pain. They would not accept my case as workers comp either! They paid me off gave me my retirement and full disability payments so I left. I just could not handle the stress anymore of dealing with their group of big lawyers. Good luck. Nancy
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