Sports Medicine to the Rescue

Discovering the connection between a computer monitor and painful running occurred recently when a 33 year old accountant came in with a few month history of pain in the chest within running a few minutes. Despite taking a few weeks off to rest, the symptoms did not improve. Investigations carried out before being assessed at our centre included chest x-ray spinal x-ray and a cardiac stress test.  All of the investigations were negative. With a proper sports medicine assessment it was evident that this accountant, like many others, uses two monitors and is constantly rotated to one side through the thoracic spine when working. After a few years of this type of positioning, the spine fixes itself in the same rotated pattern. With running there is a symmetrical rotation required through the spine. With the spine pre-rotated in one direction, the normal rotation during running is inhibited. This in turn causes a strain in the spine and its connection to the corresponding rib.  This strain produces pain along the course of the affected rib causing chest pain with running.  The treatment: appropriate physiotherapy including  a review of office ergonomics, suggestions for improvement and reduction of the spinal rotation with exercises to maintain proper posture and spinal alignment.