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This time of year can be extremely busy work wise, with the end of financial year stress, midyear deadlines and the cold winter months. We often find ourselves spending too much time at the desk. Getting to work in the dark and leaving the office in the dark, then falling in the trap of not getting enough exercises in our weekly routine.
Does this sound like you?
Unfortunately, developing poor habits such as too much sitting, typing away and staring at our computer screens can lead to painful postural related disorders. These can include neck pain and headaches, shoulder impingement, elbow or wrist overuse injuries and low back pain. If left untreated or masked with pain-killers, these postural habits can lead to long term disabling injuries, not to mention the current pain and distraction at work and home.
Quite often, it is the whole body that can be affected and impacted upon each other. Past injuries in your lower back may be affecting the way your upper back and shoulders are positioned at work, which in turn may be the driving factor in overloading some of your neck muscles and causing headaches. Alternatively, the tight hip flexors you have developed from too much sitting can leave your glutes at a mechanical disadvantage, and when you go for your weekend running session you experience hip and knee pain.
Some simple strategies and brief daily exercises can help reduce the likelihood of developing these injuries and making sure they don’t become long-term ailments. At Pure Physio we run on site work place ergonomic assessments to facilitate correct posture at work. The assessment is run by a physiotherapist who understands the mechanics of the human body, and can make specific recommendations depending on your work setup and demands. We can also advise you on your exercises habits and what impact work setup may play in that. Making changes to the height of your desk, chair or screen can greatly reduce your symptoms. More importantly, activating and strengthening the correct postural muscles will help aid long-term benefits.
Getting on top of your winter niggles can help you push on through the bleak weather and attack the warmer months without the presence of a persistent painful neck, shoulder or back! Additionally, your body will thank you in the long run as the majority of us will be at the desk for a few more years to come, so why not fix it now?