relieve back pain office workers

  • 5 ways to improve your posture and ease back pain

    5 ways to improve your posture & relieve back pain

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    We all start off like this but something starts to wrong soon after we start school but we can do something ourselves to restore some of our natural poise by noticing our postural habits. Here are some useful tips to sit better and improve your overall posture.


    #1 What type of chair are you sitting on? 

    I prefer a plain old stool, Chair backs make you lazy and stop your postural muscles in your back from working.

    #2 Locate your sitting bones and use them!

    While sitting slide your hand underneath your bottom and locate the two nobbley bits - these are your sitting bones and form the basis of the support for your upper body when sitting. Now slump, what do you notice (you are no longer sitting on your sitting bones). So find your sit bones again - you will probably feel more balanced and poised and on your way to better posture.

    Improved posture

    #3 Wear your invisible crown

    invisible crown


    Think that you are wearing an invisible crown and think into the top of your head as your spine lengthens towards the crown of your head. Alternatively you could think of the upper molars (the teeth at the back) coming away from your sitting bones. You may get a sense of your torso lengthening at this point.

    #4 Notice where your feet are

    Are your feet tucked under the chair or your legs crossed? We all know these are bad habits, but seriously they are bad habits which may cause us to overarch our lower spine as we need our legs and feet to help support the weight of our upper body.

    #5 Notice any tension in your shoulders

    Observe any tension in your shoulders and allow them to soften. Slumping causes us to have rounded shoulders and a rounded upper torso, which ultimately can develop into a dowagers hump.

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    So to recap, we now know we have sit bones, so try using them more. Why not put a post it note on the edge of your computer screen to remind you. We can think into our invisible crown and notice if our shoulders are opening out naturally or are they rounded or raised.
    Apply these basic skills and you are on your way to having better posture.


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  • Essential tips for home workers during Covid19 to avoid the pain of poor posture

    Essential tips for home workers during Covid19 to avoid the pain of poor posture

    During these troubled times a lot of us are home working. At work we will have probably had an HSE assessment for our workstation and maybe we have had special chairs or equipment provided to help us sit more comfortably then suddenly we were told we had to work from home a few weeks ago leaving all these aids behind. Now you have been working from home for a few weeks maybe you are starting to experience neck or shoulder pain because you are not sitting comfortably.

    So here are 5 tips on how to improve your posture when sitting at a computer.

    #1 What kind of chair are you sitting on?
    I prefer a plain old stool. Chair backs make you lazy and stop your back muscles from working properly. If we use a chair with lots of lumber support this doesn't help strengthen your back muscles, so when we do other activities we already have weaknesses in our back. It's no wonder we are prone to slipped discs when we attempt a spot of gardening or DIY. A useful tool I show my clients is the use of a foam wedge to sit on. This encourages a more upright posture and is a good investment rather than buying a posh office chair.

    Foam wedge for sitting#2 Notice where your feet are

    Are your feet tucked under the chair? Are your legs crossed? We all know these are bad habits, but they are seriously bad habits that can cause overarching in the lower spine. You need your legs and feet to help support the weight of your upper body so place them flat on the floor.

    #3 Locate your sitting bones and use them!

    Sit bones

      When seated slide your hand underneath your bottom and locate the two knobbly bits - these are your sitting      bones and form the basis of the support for your upper body when sitting. Now slump, what do you notice (you    are no longer sitting on your sitting bones?). Find your sit bones again - you will probably feel more balanced      and poised and on your way to better posture.

     

     

     

     


    #4 Wear your invisible crown

     always wear your invisible crown 5

    Imagine you are wearing an invisible crown and think into the top of your head as your spine lengthens towards the crown of your head. Alternatively you could think of the upper molars (the teeth at the back) moving away from your sitting bones. You may get a sense of your torso lengthening at this point.

    #5 Notice any tension in your shoulders

    Your arms and shoulders work more efficiently when you are sitting upright. The arm is a ball and socket joint that hangs beneath the shoulder girdle. Let your arms hang down to the side of you. Observe any tension in your shoulders and allow them to soften. Slumping causes us to have rounded shoulders and a rounded upper torso, which can develop into a dowagers hump.
    Now think about the hands leading the arms towards your desk and the computer. Practice initially with the palms of your hands on the desk, think about your shoulders softening, releasing any tension you may have and let the elbows hang down. Turn your attention back to your sitting bones and feel the support of the chair - think about your torso lengthening. You are now ready to start work.
    If you need to lean over your desk it's useful to know where your hip joint is. Most people think it's to the side of the pelvis when it's actually where your trouser pocket is. This is not only where we bend but we can also use this joint to maintain an upright posture and straight back when sitting. So to lean forward go over the hip joint keeping a nice straight back.

    Improved sitting   A quick recap
      * You have sit bones so use them more. Why not put a post it note on the edge of your computer screen to remind you.
      * Think into your invisible crown and notice if your shoulders are opening out naturally or if they're rounded or raised. Allow       them to soften.
      * Apply these basic skills and you'll soon be on your way to having better posture.

                And in the words of Alexander

                         Its not the furniture its how you use yourself FM   

  • Home Page - Lead Article

    Testimonial - chronic back pain after slipped discs

    free-yoursel-from-back-pain"I heard about the Alexander Technique while looking for alternative therapies to help with my back pain. So when Kim began her practice in this area I was willing to try it.

    I have found the instruction extremely helpful and Kim's delivery is clear and encouraging. I recommend this for anyone who suffers from aches and pains that they can't put their finger on the cause, or actual problems like my own for which pain relief is not a cure! Its been great to take positive action to help myself and eliminate my back pain."

    Angela (Warrington) 

     The Alexander Technique is great for back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain.

    Why? 

    Because it helps you identify and eliminate tension that can cause pain.

    How?

    You’ll learn skills for effortless posture.

    You’ll have skills to manage the pain when it hits.

    You’ll have tools to reduce the chances of pain coming back.

    It helps eliminate poor posture and tension associated with pain.

    And it's safe 

    The doctor from the charity Backcare gives the Alexander Technique 5/5 for the treatment of back pain and it doesn't involve taking any pills!

    Would you like to find out more? Contact me for a free no obligation 15 minute consulation over the phone to discuss how I might be able to help you. Telephone: 07854 025726 Email contact form           

    Kim

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    Medical evidence supports Alexander Technique as an efffective treatment for back pain

    In August 2008 a clinical trial was published in the British Medical Journal.

    This scientific study compared the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons exercise and massage for chronic and recurrent back pain.

    The study involved 579 patients. Results / outcomes were measured using the Roland Morris Disability Score where patients were asked to respond to statements representing the ways that back pain affects a patient’s life and also the number of days in pain over a 28 day period.

    The best results of the trial were found in the group of patients receiving 24 Alexander Technique lessons. In this group one year after the trial the patients had a 42% reduction in the number of activities limited by lower back pain and the number of days in pain over a 28 day period had reduced to 3 days per month compared with 21 days in pain in the control group which received normal GP care.

    This represents an 86% reduction in the number of days in pain.

    This video explains the full details of the trial and how the Alexander Technique can help you to reduce back pain.

    Helping yourself to reduce neck pain

    neck pain

       

     

     

         A new study gives the thumbs up for the Alexander Technique as an effective tool to reduce and avoid the causes of neck pain.

        At 6 months, 81% (106/131) of Alexander participants reported significant improvement in the way they lived and cared for themselves (versus 23% for usual care), increasing to 87% (117/135) at 12 months (usual care: 25%). These scores at both 6 and 12 months were related to improvement in self-efficacy and ability to reduce pain during daily life.

    Alexander Technique lessons led to long-term improvements in the way participants lived their daily lives and managed their neck pain. Alexander lessons promote self-efficacy and self-care, with consequent reductions in chronic neck pain.

    Find out more - read the published article

  • Using a standing desk and avoiding back pain

    How to use a standing desk and avoid back pain

    If you are considering purchasing a standing desk or already use one it's worthwhile thinking about how you are going to stand.

    Many people will go to their habitual posture that they use when lowering their gaze to look at something. Often this will involve collapse of the torso particularly around the chest area, which in turn will cause your shoulders to round, this will also prevent your arms and shoulders to work at the optimum - the very thing you are going to need when working at your desk and computer.
    There may also be a resultant compensatory adjustment to your balance, involving your lower back and you may start to get back pain.
    If the head drops forward as it will probably do as the weight of the head is 60% forward then it will also result in neck pain too.

    Did you know that the average head weighs 10-14lbs similar to this bowling ball?

    Bowling ball weighs as much as your head

    Quite a shock when I pass a bowling ball around when I give introductory talks on the Alexander Technique, and how misuse of the head, neck back relationship can cause pain.

    So how do we stand effectively at a standing desk?

    * First of all get yourself set up properly so that your desk is at a height that you don't have to stoop to work at it, Your arms should rest gently on the desk with elbows just lower than 90 degrees.
    * Then think of the support of the ground. Think of a tripod of support behind your big toe, little toe & heel. To sense this point of balance try rocking forwards and backwards until you find your centre of balance.
    * Then rather than thinking of the 10lb bowling ball sitting on top of your spine think of a light football, think of your torso lengthening and your shoulders widening particularly across the upper chest. You are now set up nicely in balance to start work at your desk and avoiding the many pitfalls associated with standing, particularly lower back pain.
    * You can now just allow your gaze to look towards your computer. Notice if your balance changes. If it does noticably you might be better having one foot a fraction in front of the other. Awareness of the balance point of the head is critical here, its much higher up than you think - in fact its between the ears. Try placing your fingers on your ears and gently nod your head up and down to get an idea of this balance point. Now when you look at your computer be quietly aware of this balance point of your head, it will put much less strain on your neck.