Caring for your back - part 3

In recent years I have seen a mini explosion of neck and upper back pain that I think can only be linked to our modern technologies of computers, video games etc.

We spend so much time sitting bent forward that the cumulative strain on the spine is a recipe for pain and problems.

Our spines like movement, they do not like sustained positions or repetitive activity they are made to move does that answer seem as obvious to you as it does to me?

In the late 80’s and early 90’s a rash of forearm pain and disability was sweeping Australian sarcastically called ‘kangaroo paw’ it was assumed it was to do with using computer keyboards and for many computer uses and workers the disability was devastating.

Through the work of people like physio and researcher Bob Elvey (a WA boy) we grew to understand that the problems were much more to do with nerve irritation in the neck and upper back than the forearm this revolutionised subsequent treatment and prevention.

Physios are now much more in tune with assessing ‘neural tension signs’ and treating problems with nerves.

Prevention of these problems centres around good posture and positioning with well thought out work stations but even more so with regular short breaks combined with gentle stretching and exercises.

The spine is very forgiving given short periods of rest and movement:

Then do 3 simple exercises:

  1. Hands clasped push away from your body, raise them up over your head, sweep them down to your sides. Do 10.
  2. Clasp hands behind your back, pull the shoulder blades back and arch backwards. Do 10.
  3. Chin tucks, gently draw your chin back (like a drawer sliding back into a cupboard) ie create the double chin look. Do 5.

Do this routine regularly and we won’t have to see so many of you in here!

Click here to read Caring for your back – part 1 and Caring for your back – part 2.

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