We all “slump” at our desks from time to time, often unconsciously and for hours on end. Although this seems harmless at first, “slumping” regularly can result in residual back and neck discomfort, stiffness or even pain. If this sounds like something you want to avoid, read on!
Meet Darcy Greenland, a Clinical Myotherapist who changed my desk posture for the better with no hassle, no fuss, not even a mobile app or old-school ruler. His tool? I guarantee you all have one of these at home and you won’t believe the results.
A guest blog by Darcy Greenland, Clinical Myotherapist.
WHAT IS CLINICAL MYOTHERAPY?
Clinical Myotherapy is a branch of manual therapy that, like Physiotherapy or Osteopathy, focuses on the assessment, treatment and management of musculoskeletal (muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints and associated tissues) pain and dysfunction. This includes pain arising from either muscle, joint or nerve tissue often due to poor structure or movement, prolonged desk work or direct trauma during a sporting activity.
Although a Clinical Myotherapist works with traditional assessment and treatment techniques used by Physiotherapists, they are typically more hands-on with their treatment. Clinical Myotherapist’s also study and practice Dry-Needling significantly more than any other health profession.
Clinical Myotherapy should not be confused with Myotherapy/Remedial Massage. The current level of education for Myotherapists is a 2 year diploma of Massage/Remedial Massage. Clinical Myotherapists have completed a 4 year Bachelor of Health Science, and though they may use massage as part of their treatment, a main difference is thorough assessment and diagnosis of the patients condition and therefore clinical reasoning behind the treatment rather then solely providing symptom management.
MANAGING YOUR BACK PAIN AT WORK
Apart from providing treatment for pain relief, there are a number of ways a Clinical Myotherapist can help you improve your function and stay in control of your pain. A keen interest of mine is patient education.
More often that not, I will see a patient working long hours at a desk and suffering from back, neck and shoulder pain. A simple yet effective way to look after your back when sitting, is to maintain the natural curves in the spine. Often the curve in the lower back is lost when someone slumps and the effects of this travel along the whole spine creating a ‘C’ shape posture. See below:
As you can see, this encourages rounded shoulders that make sitting with good posture difficult, overloading the muscles in the neck and shoulders with progressively worsening pain and discomfort. In order to avoid this situation, we need to support your pelvis and prevent it from slumping backwards into the chair. This will ensure your upper body automatically sits up tall, taking much of the unnecessary physical stress out of your muscles.
A simple yet effective way to support your pelvis when sitting is to use a towel, folded in half, then rolled length ways into a cylinder and positioned behind your pelvis. Roll the towel as much or as little as needed to provide a comfortable support with out pushing your lower back forward. See picture below:
As you can see, your body automatically sits up tall and all unnecessary pressure on your back and next is removed. This may be a very easy change to make, but the results are significant and it will reward you constantly and as a bonus your lower back with feel much more relaxed and supported.
To improve your ability to concentrate and overall effectiveness at work, stand up and go for a short walk after every 40 minutes, then sit back down and reposition the towel.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you have through my Domain Health email address: Darcygreenland@domainhealth.com.au