Neck and upper back pain accounts for one of the most common reasons people visit osteopaths or massage therapists. Our lifestyles make this region susceptible to pain, usually as a result of stress and increased workload in combination with a poor posture.
For most of us, we rarely stop to think about how the position we spend each day affects us. For example, sitting all day at a desk, driving long hours, washing dishes or cooking, looking down at our mobile phones or computers, whatever it may be – these can all contribute to neck and upper back pain when we do them too often.
In many ways, the modern lifestyle many of us have evolved with is to blame. Our ancestors did not need to sit for such long hours to make a living and they did not have iPhones and tablets taking their attention away from what’s going on around them, at eye level.
However, in spite of the culprit that is our daily life, there are steps we can take to reduce our chances of suffering neck or back pain.
See an osteopath or massage therapist
The cause of neck or upper back pain often relates to tight muscles that are simply overworked as a result of poor posture. Seeing one of Inner Balance Health Clinic’s osteopaths can alleviate tension in your neck and back and can provide relief from pain. After a thorough examination to determine the cause of your pain, an osteopath may use a range of techniques such as massage, joint mobilisation and muscle energy techniques to improve muscle tension, increase movement and improve joint alignment.
Change your desk set up
This can make a big difference to your posture and associated neck or back pain. A few important things to note in your desk position is to have your computer screen at eye level and the keyboard at a height so your arms are resting in a relaxed position, slightly greater than 90 degrees. Sit evenly on your bottom, with both feet on the floor and your thighs at the same level or slightly lower than your hips. An Inner Balance osteopath can provide further advice on desk set up.
Improve your posture
Again, an osteopath can offer advice and provide treatments and exercises to assist with enhancing posture. But simply checking in with yourself on a more regular basis to scrutinise the position of your back and shoulders is a good way to correct a stooped neck and back.
Inner Balance Recipe – Sweet Potato Bread
…from the Wholefood Simply website
A delicious and nutritious filler for the kids’ lunch boxes or light daytime snack!
- 1 cup roasted sweet potato flesh (approximately 200 grams cooked weight)*
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup full fat greek natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- Preheat your oven to 175°C or 350°F. Grease and line a loaf tin. Mine measures 19.5cm x 9.5cm.
- Place the sweet potato, coconut flour, yoghurt, maple syrup and eggs into your processor and blend until the mixture resembles a smooth, runny batter. Add the bicarb soda and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely prior to cutting.
- Slice. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.
Yours In Optimum Health
The IBHC Team
The advice/information contained in our communications is intended to be of a general nature and should under no circumstances be substituted for medical advice from your health care provider. We strongly recommend you seek individual medical advice should you require it.