In this day and age more people are sitting hunched over behind a computer screen at a desk for work and leisure. In some cases for hours on end. Trust me when I say that I have spent my fair share of time behind a computer monitor.
The human body was not designed to be placed in a single position for hours on end without having some negative consequences. Many professions such as dental hygienists, mechanics, and even chiropractors are constantly placing their bodies in awkward positions for extended periods of time. Most of us are bound to end up like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo by the time we are sixty if something doesn’t change. The end result of these long periods of awkward posture is stiffness, soreness and pain in the mid to upper back, mostly between the shoulder blades, for those of you sitting at your desk.
Fortunately the world has chiropractors, and physical therapists! Each one separately can do wonders for an aching back, but combine the two and you have the perfect combination to address this issue.
Addressing Pain Between the Shoulders and Mid Back
When I treat my patients for pain between the shoulders or in the mid back, I always take into consideration the position in which they spend the majority of their time. This allows me to understand the stress and strain that is placed on the muscles, connective tissue, joints, and bones. Once I understand these stressors, I can then develop a plan of attack. In this particular case, I usually follow the advice of the great Seinfeld character, George Costanza, “just do the opposite”. When stuck in the same position all day and your body is really hurting, simply do the opposite.
My first step in treatment is to address the areas of the spine that are not moving as they should. With an effective adjustment to the area, I can restore motion to the joint and remove stress and tension on the supporting structures. After the joints have been mobilized, I use the “George Costanza method” to treat the tight and weak muscles. The muscles that are tight get stretched and the muscles that are weak get strengthened.
Home Care Tips
You might be asking yourself what you can do on your own to help reduce the pain between your shoulders! Well here are a few tips to help you out.
- Proper ergonomics – Take a look at how your workplace setup and make changes to the height of your chair, screen, and location of your keyboard. Better yet, get an exercise ball to sit on or even a standing desk. OSHA has a few guidelines that will help you set up your workspace.
- Step away from the desk – Get up out of your seat from time to time and stretch, walk around, and get you blood flowing. Set an alarm on your phone for every 15 minutes.
- Take a posture break – Specifically a Bruegger’s Posture Break every 15 or 30 minutes. If you need a little more direction, a simple search on youtube will get you a few demonstrations and explanations.
- Foam Roll, stretch, strengthen!! – Pick up a foam roller from the fitness section of most stores and use it every other day to daily if needed. A foam roller can be used on most areas of the body. Check out this article for a few ideas on exercises and stretches or how about this one
Senara Health and Healing Center, located in Peoria, Illinois, offers a multidimensional approach to chiropractic and wellness care. Using the latest advancements in spinal and holistic health, they advance their mantra, Live Life Well, to their guests. Established as Kramer Chiropractic in 2002, the facility moved and expanded it’s services in late 2011 to Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa.