Recently, people have been spending a lot more time sitting down due to work, study, computers, and cell phones. For these reasons, many people suffer from chronic pain such as back and neck pain due to poor posture. To find a solution to postural pain, many of these people turn to chiropractic for relief. Chiropractic helps solve chronic and acute postural problems.
You probably start the day sitting flawlessly, but after a couple of hours, you find yourself in the weirdest positions, until you are bent over your desk or slumping in your chair at the end of the day.
Although we know it is bad for us, we fall back into the same posture as the day before. You are not alone! A study has shown that about 89% of those who remain seated for many hours suffer from muscle and/or joint pain:
69% Neck pain
58% Low Back Pain
42% Headaches and migraines
35% Tightness across the shoulders
32% hand, wrist, and elbow injuries (the most common being carpal tunnel syndrome)
While these pains may start as a small niggle, if ignored, they can cause long term harm to the body. But how come, despite the best efforts, I cannot maintain correct posture for more than 5 minutes? There are three main reasons why we fail to maintain proper posture:
Posture: it is a reflection, an automatic factor, and a habit, therefore, you cannot voluntarily decide which position to maintain. You can try, but as soon as your attention wanes, your nervous system will put you in the position it deems most appropriate at that moment or to which you are most used to. You can try to lift your neck, and pull your shoulders back but after a while, you will return to the position dictated by your nervous system and your habit.
The muscles: maintaining a static posture for a long time, the muscles get tired, stiffen and shorten. When this happens we begin to feel that contracture that makes us move and change our posture.
Joints: When they are bent for a long time in an unnatural way, they can flare up and cause pain.
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I can’t stop studying or working on the computer, what can I do?
Trying to sit in a correct posture is very important. Next time you sit down, try to follow this checklist:
- Sit by the desk with your legs at right angles.
- Don’t cross your legs.
- Remove the wallet from the back pocket of your pants.
- Rest your butt back with lumbar support or a rolled sweatshirt/towel at the lumbar level.
- Raise the screen until it is at eye level.
- Elbows at right angles.
- All of this will decrease the pressure on the joints.
We make the muscles stronger and more elastic
If your muscles get tired just holding your head, they’re probably not fit. Any activity that gets your muscles moving could help you: exercises at home, in the gym, bodyweight, CrossFit. If you already practise an activity regularly, it is likely that your training plan is not particularly effective or much more simply that the problem is not muscle weakness but muscle elasticity.
Often standing in a hunched posture, arms folded, and head forward can cause constant activation of the usual pectoral and neck muscles. Below you will find photos of some stretches for shoulder and neck relief: