Help the pain to go away.
Physiotherapists want you to learn how to use your body better, but sadly not everyone can afford to go to one. Even if your pain isn’t severe we all experience some form of discomfort in our bodies, most commonly neck and back pain. Here are some tips from the pros for your everyday life that will make you feel a little bit more comfortable in your body:
You Need To Stretch Your Chest For Upper Back Pain
If you work on a computer, it’s likely you struggle with upper back pain on the regular. Our instinct is to bend our head forward to feel that satisfying stretch in our neck. That’s fine, but did you know that the muscles you actually need to stretch out to alleviate this pain are your chest muscles? When you hunch forward you make your chest muscles short and tight, making them pull on your shoulder, neck and back muscles. Try some simple chest stretches the next time you feel your back seizing up at your desk.
Your Head Probably Isn’t In Its Natural Position
Our necks weren’t designed to spend most of our day looking downwards. Usually our phones and computer screens are slightly below our eye line, meaning our neck is constantly supporting our heavy head in a forwards position (and your head can weigh about 5kg!). Sit up straight and bring your head to the centre of your neck, looking directly in front of you. Do you feel how different that is from your default stance? Try to assume this position as much as you can in everyday life. It might mean you end up holding your phone much higher than everyone else, making you look like someone who’s never used a cellphone before, but whatever. It’s going to reduce your neck and back pain in a big way!
Get Yourself A Standing Desk
The benefits of a standing desk include improving your posture, taking pressure off your back, and burning extra kilojoules while you work. Sounds like something we could get behind. Standing up all day isn’t as tiring as you think. In fact, a lot of people have said that it makes them more energetic than when they used to sit slumped on an office chair. Back pain has become the norm but it shouldn’t be. Your employer should be only too happy to let you change your seating arrangement if it means a happier and more productive you.
Be Careful With Pain Medication
If you’re really suffering, you might find yourself reaching for the anti-inflammatories to ease the pain. It’s fine to not want to be in agony, however, if you aren’t working towards a solution there’s a chance you’re just making things worse. If your leg is sore, it’s a sign that you shouldn’t be using it. So medicating yourself until you can’t feel the pain any more and then walking on it is ignoring your body who is going ‘PLEASE STOP PUTTING WEIGHT ON THIS THING’. Rather book an appointment with a physiotherapist than risk further injuring yourself.
You Can Massage Your Own Feet
Besides the back area, your feet are often a source of pain and discomfort, especially after a long day. Massaging yourself is never as satisfying as when someone else does it, but who can afford to go for a foot massage every few days? A tennis ball is surprisingly an inexpensive and effective massage tool for your feet. Roll a ball under your foot (one foot at a time) while sitting or standing at your desk, applying enough pressure that you feel it’s actually doing something. If your feet are particularly achey, do this standing up. Your body weight will increase the pressure, kind of like an intense massage by a strong person.
From Cosmo ZA
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