My name is Neil. I practice as a physiotherapist and accredited exercise physiologist.
I like the phrasing of your question!! Often people experience low, middle or upper back and neck pain due to being in the one position for a prolonged period. This can develop in as short as 30 minutes!
Often sitting is more aggravating than standing. Our bodies were built for a standing posture and are thus are more suited to withstand these postures for a prolonged period. Also, our bodies were built to move, not to be still in the one spot for an extended period of time. So being a little active during the day is a great way to manage spinal pains!
A few strategies to manage your upper back and neck are as follows:
1. Use a lumbar support when sitting - a cylindrical foam pillow placed at the level of where a belt would sit helps to support an improved posture of the spine - available from most physiotherapy practices.
2. Take a break from sitting every 30-60 minutes - simply standing up and taking a short stroll - 1 minute - can be enough to reduce the stress on your neck and upper back.
3. Desk set-up - position and height of computer monitor and keyboard, position of phone, position of documents on the desk - everything should be within easy reach so that you dont need to strain to access them.
4. Back and neck stretches
- Low back - stand tall, place your hands in the small of the back, lean back gently, over a few repetitions lean back as far as you and your balance allows. If pain worsens you need a full assessment from an appropriatly trained physiotherapist.
- Neck - sit tall in your chair, gently pull your head back on your neck/shoulders, over a few repetitions take your head back as far as possible - this movement resembles a chicken/turkey head movement.
An excellent reference for self-management of neck and back pain is the 'Treat Your Own Neck'
and 'Treat Your Own Back'
book by Robin McKenzie.
Any questions, I am happy to assist.
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