Do you work at a desk for more than 4 hours a day? Are you spending more than 2 hours a day looking at your phone/tablet? Have you had neck pain or recurring headaches?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be well on your way to developing chronic pain, spinal degeneration and irreversible damage to your neck and upper back. Posture is a critical factor in how the spinal joints move, and as we all know if our joints are not moving they are starting to breakdown. As a chiropractor we have been seeing some pretty disturbing trends, including a dramatic decrease in normal cervical curvature, increased forward head posture and rounding of the shoulders.
Currently poor posture is the number one cause of neck pain in patients we treat. So why are we seeing such a dramatic increase in patients with poor posture? The answer lies with technology and our societies need for technological jobs. Think about it, how many jobs really require physical activity for the job to be accomplished? Sedentary jobs are defined as jobs which do not require people to lift more than 10 pounds and/or does not involve standing or walking for more than 2 hours per day.
Currently the American Heart Association considers 80% of jobs in the United States to be sedentary jobs. To help fight this rapidly growing postural problem the Maple Grove & Plymouth chiropractors at Northern Edge Chiropractic have put together a list of 5 exercises/stretches that should be added to everyone’s daily routine.
Stand Up & Walk Around
If possible, ask your company for a sitting to standing desk or if a standing desk is an option. If you need a doctor’s note feel free to call us for a quick examination so that our Plymouth chiropractors can make proper recommendations. If a standing desk is not an option get up and take a 5 minute walk every 2 hours.
Flexibility is a huge component of a healthy spine and nervous system. Stand at your desk, slowly rotate your head around in large circles 3-5 times each way. Next bend 3-5 times at the hips front, back, and side to side. Last grab each arm and pull it across your body as far as you can holding for 20-30 seconds. Do this every hour if possible.
Make sure your desk is set up to fit you! You should be able to sit at your chair with your arms comfortably rested on the edge of the desk in proper typing position. Next, make sure the monitor is eye level, if you have more than one monitor make sure the one you use the most is directly in front of you.
Sit Correctly In the Chair
Always sit up in the chair, no slouching. This means your back should just barely come in contact with the chair while typing. If you have lower back pain this is the time to use a bolster or pillow to help support the lumbar curve. Your feet should be touching the ground and your head should be looking directly forward. (not down or up) Sitting is meant to take pressure off the legs not the back. This means you should feel your lower to mid back muscles engaging as you are sitting, before long this will become comfortable.
Don't Forget To Scrap Set
A Scap Set is slang for setting the scapula in the correct position. This is done by slightly shrugging the shoulders then rolling them backwards, giving you the feeling of pinching the bottom of your shoulders together. This should be done anytime you sit down and reach forward. (typing, driving, texting, playing video games, ect..)
All of this will feel uncomfortable at first, but remember the old saying “no pain, no gain”. If you are in the Plymouth & Maple Grove MN area and are still getting headaches or neck pain after a week of trying these helpful tips then give our chiropractors a call (763)-316-5252 or contact us through our contact page. We will gladly sit down for a FREE consultation and examination to address any underlying issues contributing to your poor posture and pain.