In the vast majority of those who suffer back pain, neck pain and headaches poor posture is a significant contributing factor, and in many the primary reason they develop problems.
These are some simple tips that will significantly reduce the likelihood of developing back and neck problems that are easy to implement:
- Consider a sit-stand desk if this is an option at your work, and vary your position during the day (varidesk.com.au sell great cost-effective options)
- Whether sitting or standing get up and move every 45 minutes (interrupting these static postures even for 2-3 mins is key)
- If you are sitting use a lumbar roll as this corrects the back and neck posture and makes good sitting sustainable (holding the correct posture requires a great deal of muscular endurance, so a passive support is much preferable for long periods)
- When sitting hips and knees should be roughly 90 degrees, with feet comfortably sitting on the floor (use a footrest if your feet do not reach the floor)
- If you use a laptop you need a detachable keyboard and a laptop stand (it is impossible to maintain good neck/back posture with a laptop for prolonged periods otherwise)
- Walk or exercise regularly. All of the international low back pain guidelines reveal that regular exercise is clearly shown to have a protective effect on the spine, whether you walk, do strengthening, Pilates or yoga. Just move often.
- Every 2 hours or so perform 4-5 neck retraction exercises
(If you have existing neck pain this is around a 70% chance this exercise gives you relief, and it can be very effective for prevention if you are not currently experiencing neck pain or headaches)
- Every 2-3 hours perform 4-5 low back extension exercises
(Again around 80% of people will get relief of this exercise if you have low back pain, and regular performance has been shown to prevent low back pain)
- If you have existing symptoms that are not responding to these simple exercises you need an individual assessment to determine which particular exercises are most helpful for your individual problem
If you need more help feel and are struggling with pain, come in and see us at Absolute.
Written by Physiotherapist Joel Laing. Physiotherapy Melbourne CBD.