Use a stand up desk at work
Yes! as simple as that! There is enough research now to show that prolonged sitting is one of the worst things for spine health. Whether you have neck and shoulder pain or not, it is important to get up every 30 minutes. This is where the stand up desks come in handy. All you need to do is raise the desk. Now make sure you don’t go the other way and keep standing for hours too! Make sure you do not exceed 30-40 minutes. This will prevent any added stressed on your joints.
It is important to note that our bodies were designed for moving. Hence being in one position for a long time is not good. Whether it is prolonged sitting or standing. Sitting and bending put a lot of pressure on the discs of our spine. However prolonged standing can put a lot of pressure on the joints of our spine, hips, knees and ankles! So although sit to stand desks provide us with an alternative they shouldn’t be used for a prolonged time. The best strategy is really to change our position every 30 minutes. Be it sitting or standing or walking it’s important to keep changing the position. This reduces the pressure on any one structure of our body. The role of regular exercise cannot be debated in preventing repetitive injuries due to work.
It is also important to have the computer at the right level to the keyboard while you are seated. The back should always be rested against the back of the chair rather than sitting on the edge of the chair. The arms should always be rested closer to the body so you are not reaching for the keyboard. It is quite easy to find numerous articles on the right sitting posture at work.
There are simple stretches that you can do while at work. For example turning the head side to side and holding at the end range. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds to feel the muscles release. Repeat it just 2-3 times per side. Stretches should be repeated 3-4 times per day to prevent neck and shoulder pain. Although there are lot of youtube videos for sure, make sure to see a qualified Physiotherapist to get the right exercises for your body.
You knew this was coming didn’t you? Being a Physiotherapist myself I couldn’t resist the urge to preach. Jokes aside, neck and shoulder pain is one of the commonest avoidable conditions I treat. Most of the times, recovery is delayed because people take ages to come and see us! Remember pain or stiffness is not normal. Sooner you get help, quicker you recover. You wouldn’t have to see a Physio for weeks if you got to them as soon as the pain started.
Our remedial massage therapists work on releasing tight muscles. However, if you are in pain or your joint is stiff, you need to see a Physio. According to Australian physiotherapy association, about one-third of people with chronic neck pain also report light-headedness or a dizzy feeling, some unsteadiness with balance and, occasionally, visual symptoms. Hence, it is important to get treated at the right time to prevent serious issues in future.