As we move further into the digital world, we are spending more time sitting down and staring at a screen and this is having a profound affect on our bodies and in particular our necks, shoulders and backs.
Around 80% of us will suffer with back pain at some point during our lives.
As we get older degenerative conditions increase and can often become more noticeable from the age of 45 but now these conditions are starting to appear a decade earlier than seen a generation ago.
Two of the main neck/back problems that stem from sitting at a desk or using a mobile phone, tablet or laptop is Forward Neck and Kyphosis.
Forward Head is when the neck and head is in a forward position where the head is extending out past the shoulders. This is because more and more we are bent over our mobile phones or laptops all day causing our neck to tilt forward. This can cause tension, stiffness or pain in your neck, shoulders and back.
Your neck is designed to stay vertical to support the weight of your skull which weighs around 10 – 12 pounds. Every inch your head falls forward adds another 10 pounds of stress to the neck, shoulders, back and spine.
Therefore, our obsession with checking our mobile phones alone is causing an enormous amount of stress on our bodies, with symptoms including:-
Neck pain Upper back pain
Shoulder tightness and pain Chronic headaches
Abnormal curvatures to your spine
Kyphosis is a common condition that results in forward rounding of your upper back region. This causes your spine to hunch over and make you appear to be slouching.
Kyphosis can be seen at any age and can start to develop through sitting incorrectly at your desktop over your laptop.
If you suffer from Kyphosis, you may be experiencing back pain and stiffness.
Aside from taking periodic breaks from your electronic devices, sitting up straight and holding your electronic devices at eye level as much as possible, what else can you do to help alleviate and correct these conditions?
Pilates is often recommended by medical professionals to help with poor posture and back pain. Why? Because Pilates promotes and teaches neutral spine, alignment and core control. When these skills are adopted and good postural habits attained, you are able to function more efficiently. Postural problems can often lead to joint problems and muscle imbalances, causing flexibility, strength and mobility issues. Pilates help to correct these problems. This in turn can improve your quality of life. How often do we think about how we stand or walk? Would most people understand what neutral spine or the plumb line is? Pilates teaches these skills to retrain our bodies to stand and move more effectively.
If you are suffering with neck, shoulder or back pain then Pilates can help. However, it is advisable to seek medical advice before attending a class.