Continuous Rehab: Sitting, Standing and Bending Properly To Avoid Neck and Back Injury
Ok so rehab exercises are good for chronic neck and back problems but what about the other 23 hours of the day…?
This brings up a good point, exercise only works if you are making a habit of increasing your body’s awareness and posture.
Proper Posture and Biomechanics
For instance, exercises to help someone recover from a “slipped disc in the neck” are probably minimally efficient if the sufferer does not also change the way they use their neck. I am a strong proponent that exercises for chronic neck and back pain only are effective if ergonomics and biomechanics are also changed to load the spine more evenly.
Unfortunately most studies within the field of physical therapy discuss in one form of treatment versus another, usually contrasting a particular set of exercises versus is leading different set of exercises to see which is more effective. Posture and proper biomechanics are highly regarded yet not widely studied necessarily when it comes to chronic neck and back pain. This is probably due to the fact posture my mechanics would be difficult to study within a population of people going about their normal daily routines.
We in the physical therapy community has gotten fond of saying “some conditions can’t be treated, they have to be changed”. I have seen many patients over the years that have tried seemingly everything to lessen their pain; – everything except for change the one thing that is probably causing the pain to continue.
I can’t say it enough, posture and proper movement – using the body how it is designed to be used is incredibly effective.
It seems strange in the advanced information age that we as adults have to be taught how to sit, stand and bend properly. However – what we must remember is that the human condition has rapidly changed with the onset of the industrial age allowing for modern conveniences and repetitive stresses that are both detrimental forces for reshaping our bodies.
Anthropologist tell us that we are designed to stand, squat, and lie down. We are not designed to sit in chairs. This idea might sound far-fetched but in thinking of it, our closest relatives monkeys, apes and chimpanzees never sit on their rear-ends. They squat or lie down.
In short, the body does not come with an owners manual and most injuries that come through our doors are either entirely preventable or at least somewhat preventable with the proper application of biomechanical principles.