Chronic postural strain often arrises from prolonged or repeated activities or poor postures, such as that associated with sitting at a computer all day.
When we sit for a prolonged period we get tired and we slump, causing us to curve our middle back and shoulders forward and in order to look ahead we will poke our chin out.
THE RESULT OF POSTURAL STRAIN
- The neck becomes short and squashed
- Headaches, backaches
- Hunched appearance
- Shoulders rolled forward and elevated
- Stiffness and decreased flexibility
- Tightness in neck, back and shoulders that is no relieved for very long with stretches or massage
- Low back pain – low back curve increases to balance the increased “hunched” posture.
WHY IT HAPPENS
- Poor chair – not enough contact with the back of the chair to stop you slumping
- Poor office set up – keyboard up too high, screen in the wrong place etc
- Too long in your chair without a break and too long at the computer
- Other activities – too long sitting on couch, driving and not enough stretching or the right exercise for you.
- Over time your joints get ‘stiff & stuck’ in your poor posture position
- Awareness of your posture – limiting poor posture form computer use etc
- Stretches, exercise and regular breaks
- Ergonomic assessment and training yourself to use mouse in other hand!
- You often can not change your job or decrease your computer usage
- Your osteopath can teach you management and help you understand what is happening
- Your Osteopath can give you stretches or exercises that are specifically chosen for your problem
- Massage and stretches alone only work on the muscles and often don’t address the underlying structure or posture
- If you are sitting for 8 or more hours a day you cannot expect your body to just ‘cope’. You need to regularly ‘tune and-service’ to prevent poor and pain as a result of prolonged sitting.