If I could give you one piece of advice to reduce or even prevent pain, it would be to improve your posture while sitting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked in the house to see my wife sitting on the couch, laptop resting on her knees, neck craned forward, shoulders rounded and eyes looking down. She would work like this for hours and then be baffled as to why her shoulders and neck hurt so much.
TIPS TO IMPROVE POSTURE
Here are the strategies I most commonly recommend to patients:
1. When your mother told you to “sit up straight”, she was right. Think about a string pulling you up so that your ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned. Also squeeze your shoulder blades down and back.
2. Keep your rear, upper back and head all the way back on your seat to help you maintain proper alignment. If you don't have enough lumbar support on your chair, you can purchase a mesh support for just a few dollars.
3. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor. Crossing your legs or tucking one foot underneath you can place added pressure on your knees and hips.
4. Use a hands-free device when talking on the phone. Just this week, I got one for our front staff . You might be an expert at balancing a phone between your ear and shoulder, but your neck is not impressed.
5. Only work on your computer when you’re sitting at a desk or table. Logitech makes a great stand to keep your screen at eye level (http://amzn.to/yv3aLO)
6. Follow my 20/20 rule - For every 20 minutes you sit, get up and walk around for 20 seconds. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to move about the cabin.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF POOR POSTURE
Maintaining proper posture takes focus and work, but it's well worth it. It helps keep our bodies loose, strong and balanced which can help keep us stay injury free and even improve athletic performance.