02 Dec Help relieve aches and pains with these tips
Hi all, Rosie here! Do you suffer from aches and pains? Perhaps pesky neck or back pain? Is your posture to blame? Most of my patients come to me with chronic neck or back pain…and it’s often due to hours upon hours of sitting every single day in sedentary office jobs or the like. These pains come from hunching forward at the desk, from sitting and not activating certain muscles properly. If you don’t use it, you lose it…literally!
Our bodies are not designed for the sedentary lives we lead. We’re designed to squat down, not sit on chairs. We’re designed to move for 16 hours a day, not watch TV slumped on a sofa after 8 hours of sitting slumped at a desk. So it’s not surprising we get a few aches and pains!
Movement helps us get nutrients to all of the body’s tissues, and nutrients help repair. In fact, the body is purposefully designed to repair itself. Take skin for example, you cut yourself a little and it’ll heal itself with no problem. If that cut manages to get deeper, however, it needs some extra help to repair (think a band aid or stitches). If you don’t do anything about it, you continue to A) bleed and B) have pain. This principle applies to other tissues in the body too, like muscles and discs in the back. When they’re struggling to repair, they hurt.
Top tips for managing these aches and pains
Wherever you are, every half an hour. If you’re sitting at a desk, stand up. If you’re standing up, crouch into a squat position, or do side bends. Get that body moving!Reach your full height
Pretend someone is pulling on the top of your head, pulling you upwards. This should start bringing your head up and out of that forward head posture.Pull your shoulders back and down
Imagine you’re squeezing your shoulder blades together, trying to make the bottom of them touch. Hold it for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat x 10!
Bonus tip – train yourself to sit properly
As we know, we all tend to slump when sitting down. Our shoulders round, our head juts forward and our lower backs are curved tucking our pelvis under. You may be aware that this is wronggggg. In summary, the spine needs to be straighter to use up less energy, which will mean muscles fatigue less, ergo less pain.
1. Find a towel, or something a bit grippy. Maybe a jumper you’re not presently wearing
2. Place the folded towel/grippy thing over back of chair, so that there’s a thicker section at your mid-back
3. With your bum pushed to the back of the chair, lean forward, curving your back (essentially slumping, this will lengthen muscles)
4. Push up on your seat with your hands to have a lengthening effect on the spine
5. With pressure still going through hands, hook your mid-back onto the grippy thing
Ta daa! Welcome to your improved posture, which brings less dysfunction. It may feel weird, but trust us, it’ll help you not just now, but educate your body for long term pain relief.
PS. Re-adjust if it falls or shifts with your movements. This is bound to happen and isn’t a problem, just reset!
Oh and if you’d like some tips on stretches you can do in your office, head here. That’ll do for now…don’t be afraid to give us a call or email if you want some more posture correction advice, or book an appointment online. We’re here to help bring out the best you that you can be!
All the best for now,