Articles & Studies

University Thesis

Back pain is on the increase in the UK

skeleton image with back painThis was highlighted years ago in A.C. Mandals "The Seated Man - 1981" it was ahead of it's time in shedding light on the fact that the reason there are ever increasing numbers of back pain sufferers must be coming from the most likely explaination, that we are sitting incorrectly. (Homeopathically speaking this would be called a "maintaining cause").

The fact that we are at our desks now many hours longer than say even a decade ago, that our world has become one of PC's; email; conference calls; higher technologies means that we are abusing and misusing our backs, necks, hands and bodies in general. The technologies are becoming increasingly more complex and efficient, yet unfortunately we in the knowledge and understanding of our bodies have not moved forward at the same pace.

In fact we are expecting more and more from ourselves and our physiological make up whilst not being prepared a lot of the time to help ourselves or implement changes to prevent the break down in function of this incredible fete of natural engineering known as the human body.

How then do we alter this course of forward driven momentum that is resulting in illnesses, accidents, injuries, tensions and increased stress levels?

When a chair is static it means that the body cannot be in constant motion, which is how it functions best. If there is no forward tilt to a chair or flexibility of floating tilt to the base (seat) of the chair then human nature dictates that the person will sit forward into the seat to compensate and try to allow their hips to be placed higher than their knees.

They are in fact automatically (as their body is telling them) trying to sit with a forward tilt of the pelvis, yet their chair will not allow it because it is a flat surface, leaving the hips and knees at a 90° angle, inhibiting blood flow and circulation into the arteries of the groin and therefore to the rest of the spine and body as a whole. So main points to easing your back pain at work:

  1. Sit with hips higher than knees
  2. Have a chair that has a floating tilt mechanism
  3. Do not cut of circulation by crossing legs or tucking them under you
  4. Sit up and use the core muscles instead of slumping back in the chair and relying on it to hold you up!
  5. Take regular breaks
  6. See someone to check your work station set up is working for you in the most healthy way!

We have to start by re-educating people about their bodies and how they function, about the fact that they can change their habits and work environment with guidance and support to become something that actually helps them and enables them to be healthy at work or home. I have been working in this field for 9 years and assess work stations and the individual's body in relation to it.

The muscle imbalance that maybe causing pain can be addressed through deep tissue work, stretches and postural guidance which can end up in decreased/eradicated pain and better overall functioning of the body.

For more information call me!