By Brenda Stickley 7 March 2017
The first thing Sarah* said in her consultation with me was “I had no idea I could get injured by just sitting at my desk”. But the reality is that for many who spend their day at the computer – like Sarah – without paying attention to the right things, injury is inevitable.
Sarah’s employers had done their best for her by providing a desk and chair to meet ergonomic standards, along with a foot stool, wrist pad and screen filter. She made sure she had regular breaks and changes in her activity throughout the day. She tried so hard to do everything right – but was still suffering with chronic neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Sarah was thinking that she would have to leave her job if the standing desk on order didn’t help her fix her tech neck.
But a fundamental component had not been addressed – Sarah herself!
In her efforts to sit well, Sarah was forcing herself into a posture that she thought was correct based on what she had been told and read – but it meant that she was holding herself rigid – requiring a great deal of muscle tension. She was unaware of what she was doing and how this was contributing to her pain.
Muscle aches and pain is the body telling us that what we are doing is hurting us and that we need to stop. Pain is not the cause of your problems but the result of what you are doing. Most of the time neck pain is caused by misaligned hips, spine, and shoulders, along with a head that is stuck in the forward position due to lack of movement. Thus, the muscles of the neck and upper back tense up, which can lead to neck and shoulder pain and stiffness, and other symptoms. Repetitive movements add insult to injury.
It is important to identify and address the underlying causes. But it is difficult to do this without help because our posture and movement just feels normal to us. Most of us are oblivious to how we move because it just happens without us even thinking about it.
I’m so pleased to have helped Sarah learn her way out of her pain. She discovered healthy relaxed sitting and moving while working at her desk and now she no longer needs
· regular massages and adjustments to relieve pain
· pain killers on a regular basis just so she could function
· to do endless sets of exercises believing she had to be stronger
· props and devices that were supposed to support her.
The neat thing is that Sarah could apply her new insights to all the various situations and activities that she has in her life. She also had more money in her purse to spend on what she actually wants!
I love seeing this kind of change for my clients. Making a difference in their lives makes a difference in mine. Last month another client of mine with the exact same problem told me recently that she’s improved so significantly that she’s taken up tennis. Yeah.