Friday, July 31, 2015

Of Stress, Static-ness, Screens and Such

Now that's what I call good posture
I find myself repeating this line to my patients daily so I thought I'd pen it down.
I spend time getting to know my patients by asking open ended questions and listening
without distraction. From this I learn about their lifestyles.

It is important to me so that I can figure out what is happening in their day that might be
perpetuating their pain. Our bodies are very good at repairing itself if we nourish it well
physically and mentally. Good sleep, nutrition, mental state and physical activity are key
to us being able to heal ourselves.

I find that my patients with back and neck pain more often than not fit the profile where
there exists the 3 S in their lifestyle. They are Stress, Static-ness, Screens.

1. Stress

I have become aware that we are living more and more in a state of stress in the past decade.
I don't think we know just how big the impact of stress is on our bodies. It affects so many things!
It affects the quality of our sleep, our posture, our state of mind, our eating habits, just naming
a few. This in turn goes on to affect other aspects of our lives. One of which is the natural healing
process that our bodies are very capable of.

2. Static-ness

We are truly made to move! And optimally every 15-30 minutes!
So it is needless to say what could happen when most of us sit at our desks 8-12 hours a day.

I always use the analogy of marathon running. The duration that the average working adult
sits in a day is equal to running 1-2 marathons a day..5 days a week..330 days a year! You
would expect someone who does that to get a sports injury yes?

So why are we surprised when we develop so many problems from sitting?

3. Screens

We are in the era where the smart phones, tablets, notebooks, IPads, laptops and Kindles dominate our day. And this extends to very young children. There is no doubt that neck and back pain will
rise in incidence from any age. It's not just the stillness that causes it. But also the posture of looking down to read the screen. Poor posture coupled with static-ness is a recipe for pain. It may not be immediate. It may come back to bite you ten years down the road.

The key to preventing pain is to take breaks. Move!
Even if it means just standing up and sitting back down. It only takes a second.
Exercise helps too. It takes longer to fatigue into a poor posture when we are fitter.

Start by being aware of the 3 points above. And the rest is up to you :)

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