First it was the standing desk — followed closely by that super fun surf desk — to revolutionize our sedentary office life. Who knows what we’ll be doing in front of the screen next, but if it involves movement and preventing back pain, we’ll take it. As hard working chicks, we know the aches and pains that hours of tirelessly pouring over a project can bring so that’s why resorting to tricks like different chair styles and fidgeting really come in handy. Some additional movement and exercise tips from osteopath Mathieu Lebreton can also work to keep our bodies young forever — well, we can dream.
Mathieu says that posture is one of the areas people struggle with most because it’s automatic. Since a lot of people don’t know what good posture is for their own body, they continue to use habitually damaging movements in their daily activity, even while sleeping. However, pulling your shoulders back — anyone else still hear your mom’s voice telling you to do that? — isn’t the best solution. Forcing our skeletal and muscular systems into uncomfortable positions can sometimes be even more damaging.
“Actually, I think that the big cause of bad posture is the lack of mobility of the pelvis and the lumbar spine rather than weak back muscles. This lack of mobility is often linked to a loss of elasticity of the pelvis muscles and lower limb muscles.” Instead of focusing on building muscle, he recommends light stretches to keep the hips and related muscles loose. Once the mobility has returned, core strengthening can then help keep the spine healthy.
Since tightened muscles in that region can cause sciatic pain, a nerve pain that can affect everything from the low back all the way down to the feet, it’s so important to keep those muscles loose and healthy. If the back pain is chronic — and your wallet can handle it — he recommends a few massage sessions to loosen the muscle manually. Try going to an osteopath or physiotherapist for these, though, rather than a simple relaxation massage, because they will be better able to treat the affected area and get you into recovery faster. They’ll also be able to recommend specific stretches and exercises to address your problem areas.
To prevent falling into back pain misery again, Mathieu advises to exercise every day. “As long as you do those physical activities gently, those should allow your body to relax while maintaining your strength, elasticity and then mobility.” This doesn’t mean hitting the gym for an hour and a half every day, but just simply incorporating a few stretches and toning practices into your routine can have a big impact on your overall health.
How do you loosen up and get your back feeling oh-so-good? Share your tricks with us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)