Is your eye sight causing your joint pain

By Geoffrey Hogan (M.Ost) Farringdon Osteopaths

Good posture when working at a desk is vital to avoid hurting the joints and muscles of the spine. Ideally the rib cage will be in contact with the back of the chair and the elbows will be by your side at all times when sitting at a desk.

This posture, however, becomes almost impossible to maintain when the eyes become strained. This is because strain on the eyes is often alleviated by leaning closer to the screen, causing the contact with the chair to be lost.

Eye strain can be temporary, caused by factors such as working in a dark room or not taking a break. The strain goes away when these circumstances change.

When eyes become strained due to changes in vision, however, the strain will be more persistent.

A change in vision often happens very gradually and can be hard to notice initially. So gradual that a person may not realise that their eyes are becoming more strained and that their posture has been changing as they unconsciously compensate. They may not realise that each day they are spending more and more time leaning forward at the desk. This leaning forward posture increases stress on the muscles, joints and ligaments of the spine and can eventually lead to them becoming injured.

The first sign that their vision has been changing may be that their neck or back is getting a bit more stiff than usual after work. They may soon also start getting more headaches than usual or even feeling some fatigue or aching around the eyes.

If you have noticed unexplained increases in neck or back pain when working at a desk, especially if you have also noticed a simultaneous increase in eye fatigue and/or headaches then it is worth noting that you may have had a change to your eyesight.

It would be worth getting your vision tested, especially if you already wear glasses and it has been a while since you had your prescription updated. It could save you a trip to the osteopath!