Office workers spend at least eight hours at a desk in front of a computer every day. Due to the sedentary nature of the work, their bodies become overtaxed without them even recognizing there’s a problem.
According to Mark Chen, a certified physiotherapist and personal trainer at Physiotherapy Phnom Penh, half of the patients seeking physiotherapy are long-hours office employees. The other half were hurt in accidents or sporting injuries.
“Roughly overall the patients’ age group is between 20-50 years old,” Mr. Chen said. “50 percent is from office-related troubles [such as] maintaining bad postures, sitting in the same position for many hours. People really overlook the muscular imbalances being built up this way The other 50 percent is half traffic problems and half sport injuries,” he added.
“We also treat people that have office jobs, who sit behind a computer and who are at risk of an overuse injury. Pain in the arm, shoulder, neck or back are common examples,” he said.
Everyone who has an office job is at risk of overuse injury. A big percentage of those end up at a Physio clinic sooner or later, according to Mr. Chen. These problems can often be treated fairly easily.
The number of treatments performed using physiotherapy differs according to the severity of the problem. The sooner you tackle a problem, the sooner it will respond to treatment. At Physiotherapy Phnom Penh, it normally takes 45 minutes for one treatment.
“If you recognize an overuse injury from office work, it can be healed quite fast,” he said. “If you feel stiffness in your shoulder now, and you come into the office tomorrow, it’ll usually be better in one or two weeks. People just wait too long!”
“But, if you get surgery on your knee or on your hip, and you need to get back to playing sports, it could take a long time. It could take up to 6-9 months,” he said, adding that the patient needs to come in regularly to receive treatment.
Physiotherapy treats all kinds of problems related to the movement system including the bones, muscles, tendons and the joints. Techniques such as massaging, joint mobilization, strengthening or stretching, using ultrasound and electrotherapy machines are used to treat and diagnose movement-related problems.
The treatment helps manage the existing pain and prevent diseases that affect the movement system by instructing patients in certain techniques, or types of stretching or other training, so that they can take care of their bodies themselves.
Though sedentary-job-related problems mainly affect the working population, Physiotherapy Phnom Penh treats patients as young as 3 up to whatever age who have problems with slow body development, trying to find the right balance for their bodies.