4 Activities Contributing to Your Pain

                       4 Activities Contributing to Your Pain



When it comes to pain, sometimes we don’t realize that our everyday activities could be contributing to it.  Whether you are experiencing pain in your back, neck, shoulder, hips or anywhere else, these 4 activities may be making it worse. 


Driving  

Good circulation is needed to heal tissue that may have been damaged and causing pain. Spending hours in the driver’s seat requires the body to be in static state for long periods of time can decrease blood circulation to the neck and back muscles as well as your legs.

Taking advantage of stop lights and slow traffic to perform a few exercises can help improve the circulation and facilitate healing in the injured areas.



Using a Computer

We are spending more and more time in front of our computer screens.  That increased screen time has significant negative impact on our health.

Computers are everywhere in our lives. We stream videos, communicate with long lost friends, edit pictures, take classes, and even write fascinating blogs with a few strokes of the keys.  

As with the driving, any prolonged positioning will eventually create tissue damage or slow healing of already damaged tissues.  Unfortunately, with computer usage, the body is often even more compromised than with driving.  Poor computer station set up can certainly contribute to any pain that is experienced.  


The seduction of the screen can be difficult to escape. Awareness of the time you spend on your computer can help your body avoid injury and also facilitate the healing process.  A timer can remind you of just how much screen time you have had.  

Set a timer to take a 5-10 minute break every 45 minutes to allow your body to move freely. 


Texting


Recently, a new phenomenon has emerged that every smart phone and tablet user should know.  There has been a sharp increase in muscle pain, especially in the neck, due to cell phone and tablet usage.


Abnormal posture created by bending your neck to see your phone or tablet places tremendous stress on your neck and upper back muscles. This positioning is benign when held momentarily, after all, our necks are supposed to move that way.   Yet, if you are suffering from pain staying in this awkward position will make it worse.

So, do we stop texting or using our tablets?  Ideally, yes!  But that is not going to happen, so lets consider alternatives. 

Try these strategies:


*Hold your phone straight out in front of you.  The goal is to decrease the amount of forward bend in the neck.
*Activate your abdomen when using the phone.  This act alone will improve your posture.
*Limit time.  Don’t type long emails or read books on your device.  Save that for when you are able to position yourself properly in front of a computer.


Carrying Heavy Purses and Fat Wallets

This blog is not complete without addressing the elephant in the room.  Women who carry heavy purses or bags on a consistent basis and men who put their wallets in their back pockets can be putting undue stress on the muscles in their bodies. 

Ladies first.  Since you never know what you may need, you tend to think you need to carry everything with you at all times. Tissues, phones, papers, cards, money, everyone’s medical histories, lipsticks, the kitchen sink…..the list is endless.  Most likely you also carry your purse or bag over the same shoulder.  As you do this, you put significant stress on sensitive tissues below the surface.  Heavy bags may contribute to back and neck pain.

Lighten up.  Carry with you only the essentials.


If you do need to carry a laptop or other heavy bag, make sure you are switching it from side to side.  This will give stressed tissue time to recover.


Now, for the men. Sitting on a thick wallet for long periods of time may create muscle imbalances which can contribute to pain.  

Move the wallet into your front pocket before you sit down.  And, like the ladies, you also need to lighten up.  Only carry what you need to carry for the day.



New habits are not easy to create.  Research has shown that it can take up to 66 days to form a new habit.  Understanding the why you need to change these habits is the first step.  

Seeking out the advice of a licensed physical therapist to help facilitate healing and reduce risk of injury is the second. Call us at 352-243-9341 today for help. 

Pain is a complex issue that most likely has many sources. Making these small changes can start you on your way to recovery!






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