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Is work being a pain in the neck?

By 23rd February 2017June 8th, 2017Back Pain, neck pain, Osteopathy

If you suffer from neck, shoulder or upper back pain as you sit at your desk, working for long periods, help is at hand

Why do we suffer from neck, shoulder and upper back pain?

desk posture

why we get back pain

Our arms come forward and pectoral muscles become shorter bring our shoulders forward

Our upper back is arched forward stretching our postural muscles in our upper back

Our neck muscles have to hold our head up so we can see the screen

Our lower back muscles have to do more work just to keep us bending forward slightly

And we keep this position for hours on end! Its like running a marathon every day for months on end for our postural muscles.

So our bodies adapt

In order to cope with the daily demands we put on our neck, shoulder and upper back muscles our bodies adapt. And the flexibility in those muscles is reduced so you can maintain that position for hours on end. However there is a cost.

There is a build up of lactic acid in our postural muscles. This causes inflammationPhysiology of pain and stiffness

With Inflammation our bodies then lay down Collagen as part of the healing process

This in turn reduces mobility

Reduced mobility leads to reduced circulation which in turn leads to fibrotic changes in the muscle and more inflammation

A vicious circle leading to long term pain and stiffness.

However adaptation works both ways

If our bodies can adapt to reduced mobility they can adapt to increased mobility.

Through regular movement and exercise of those muscles you can revise the effects of lack of movement. You just need the right exercises.

The 2 minute Desk work out

This work out needs to be done regularly . Every 30 -60 mins at your desk. You need to ensure that the brain receives regular nerve input from the muscles and proprioceptors in your neck , shoulders and upper back proving that they are working. In short you need to get them moving .

The work out will:-

Improve muscle health in shoulders and upper back

Reduce build up of lactic acid and that aching feeling

Improve muscles and joint flexibility over time

30 secs bending forward and back- be careful not to extend too far –

30 sec side bending as shown

30 sec T spine samba- great for rotation

30 sec shoulder rolls (15s fwd and 15 s backwards)

Do this regularly at work and you will really notice a difference. If you think you need some extra help then please get in touch.

Hugo Firth BOst, Bsc, MA.