Back pain, Injuries

What is the perfect posture?

The answer is your next posture! A number of studies undertaken to find the perfect posture reveal that how you sit or stand is miles less important than how often you change position.  No one position has been linked to increased pain or days off work

So Mrs McK my old teacher who told me that if I slumped I would end up in a wheelchair – my gut instincts were right you were talking rubbish!- I would also like to point out that now that I do a lot of ergonomic assessments I was also correct about the chair being too small for me and THAT was why I slumped!! (Not that I am one to hold a grudge for 25 years 😊)

Read more: Marginal gains: what are they and should I use them?

Common sense tells us that sitting in awkward positions for long periods of time is bad for us, but it would be healthy if we all stopped worrying about this as much.

Where this all goes wrong is when we go to work and sit in the way that the chair/desk/PC has been laid out for us rather than sit how we do watching TV at home. Most people find that sitting in a chair which provides support through our spine in a slightly reclined rather than upright angle is more comfortable. This is why we lounge into the couch when watching Dancing on Ice on a Saturday night (note to self should have lied and said while out at fancy restaurant/pub!).

When you go back to work, or even better if you are at work just now. GET UP AND GO FOR A WALK. Try having a bit of a stretch in the chair or do a hula hoop on the desk.

When you finally sit down after all of that then adjust your chair so that it is comfortable, your feet are flat on the floor, your spine is rested against the backrest and your elbow is at desk height.

Read more: What is Pilates and how can it benefit you?

Only then should you pull it into your desk, move your mouse and keyboard close to you at elbow distance, and then adjust your screen to a natural height without leaning forward or angling your head-up. That should do the trick and then finally set an alarm for 30-45 minutes so that you can get up and do it all over again!

If you need any advice on alternative equipment or how to set your workplace up effectively then please ask us about workplace/DSE assessments by contacting us on 01236 425 661, or admin@jmcphysiocures.co.uk

 

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Injuries

How to treat tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common elbow overuse problem that is likely to affect around 40 percent of the population at some point in our lives.  And certainly from my clinical experience, I don’t think I’ve ever treated a tennis player for this type of problem; it’s usually the office worker or manual worker who is lifting and gripping a lot.

The injury is mainly due to an overuse of the wrist extensor muscles since the condition is actually an extensor tendinopathy: it affects the tendons that extend the wrist joint and attach to the outside of your elbow, known as the common extensor origin.  There are a few tendons that can be involved, the most notable being the extensor carpi radialis brevis and extensor carpi radialis longus.  Most literature states that the constant overuse of these tendons results in repetitive microtrauma to the extensor tendons, which in turn causes local inflammation and pain.  This overload can occur from racquet sports, typing at the computer, gardening, or any tasks that involve repetitive wrist extension.

tenis elow iv

 

Risk factors for tennis elbow:

  • Manual occupation or office worker
  • Aged between 30-50 years old
  • Taking part in a lot of racquet sports but with poor technique

Symptoms

Pain associated with tennis elbow will be concentrated on the outside of the elbow and can radiate into the forearm and wrist.  Due to the pain and weakness it may be difficult to:

  • Shake hands on grip hold of an object
  • Turn a doorknob or handle
  • Hold a cup of tea or lift a kettle
  • Pain to touch the outside of the elbow or to bump against the area

How do we treat tennis elbow?

Firstly, I should mention that 80-90% of people with tennis elbow make a full recovery within one to two years and physiotherapy is recommended as the first line of conservative management.

Physiotherapy can assess your elbow and upper limb to find the cause, provide activity modification advice, prescribe appropriate rehabilitation exercises and manual therapy to provide pain relief. Your physiotherapist can also assist in giving advice regarding your work set up or sporting equipment.  While no one treatment modality is proven to be effective entirely on its own, a combination of both mobilisation and exercise may reduce pain and improve function.

If you want some helpful advice or treatment for any persistent tennis elbow injury then come and see one of our experienced members of staff at JMC Physiocures, 01236 425 661 or 07808 552 520.

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