We are fortunate to have the modern advances and the benefits of electronic devices, remote education and networking, cushioned seats and postural supportive office chairs. All these things have become increasingly more abundant in our daily lives, however, the detriment of longer commutes, hours working on a laptop and evenings slouched or reclining on the couch in the company of televisions, tablets, and smartphones can often contribute to an increased tendency for neck pain, “tightness,” and muscle dysfunction.
With the start of the school year approaching, many students are returning to e-learning formats. Students are commonly not used to sitting in front of a computer all day for school learning. Within the in-person environment, students aren’t always in front of a computer screen and generally move in the classroom or when they switch classrooms. With e-learning at home, students may be more sedentary. Neck and back pain complaints are often seen after periods of prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture. Parents and students can use these tips to help in preventing back and neck pain as students return to e-learning this year.
As a new father and experienced physical therapist, I realized being a new parent is not only a rewarding and joyous experience, but it can be very hard on the body! As Father’s Day approaches, here are some tips I would like to share on how to prevent aches and pains as a new parent.
When one hears the word “Whiplash,” it’s possible that the first image that comes to mind is the academy award winning movie starring J.K. Simmons as a controversial music instructor. It’s far more likely however, that one’s primary thoughts immediately turn to the association this word has with neck pain, trauma and more specifically, a motor vehicle accident (MVA). Given the tumultuous, unrelenting “lessons” inflicted on his jazz students throughout the film, a case could be made that it accurately describes both the mental abuse suffered by the aspiring students, as well as the pain associated with this disorder.
It’s happened to all of us – you wake up and go to turn your head but then you feel pain. You may not be able to comfortable move your head or neck as a result. Some people have a headache or feel tight across their shoulders. Usually these symptoms resolve in a couple of days but waiting for them to get better can be uncomfortable.
Look around as you sit at the café or as you walk into work. How many heads do you see angled down at their smartphones? The human head weighs about 12 lbs, but as the head angles forward and down the force on the neck begins to increase exponentially. At a 15 degree angle the head weighs 27lbs., 30 degrees 40lbs, 45 degrees 49lbs, and 60 degrees 60lbs.1
One of the most common treatment methods to alleviate muscular pain and post-work out soreness is the foam roller and there is a good reason for that. Foam rollers are a great treatment option to mobilize tight tissue especially for larger areas on your body that you want to address. But what if you want to really zone in on a particularly small area of tight muscle? What if the muscle you want to address isn’t easily mobilized with a foam roller? What if you don’t have a foam roller with you? Enter the massage ball.
In my experience as a physical therapist, one of the most common reasons patients seek out physical therapy is due to pain of the spine. Although certain factors related to neck or back pain are outside of our control (such as aging or arthritis), there are many factors that we do have influence over – including sleeping position.