pain

5 Tips for a Comfy Workstation

illustration of workstationBack and neck problems are so prevalent these days. Chances are, you're experiencing pain now.

If accident or trauma is not a factor, it's likely the cause of the problem is due to bad posture or habits which lead to a faulty movement pattern.

If your work is sedentary and involves the use of a computer, the setup of your workstation may be a major factor related to your pain.

Below are some easy tips for creating an ergonomic workspace that improves your health.

Ease Work-Related Back Pain

Most people with back pain experience difficulty in sitting, and some may even avoid going for long trips. Living with these sort of limitations can be very frustrating. In these types of cases, physical therapy is a must to provide proper treatment. However, a few tips may help to minimize the pain to make the day go easier.

For most cases, pain occurs when stress on the back tissue is too great and is beyond its limit. To minimize the pain is to minimize the stress. Therefore, proper alignment is the key.

First, putting a cushion or a small pillow behind the low back will help to support the back and reduce the stress. When a person sits down, the back has a tendency to curve and some support can counteract that tendency.

When Nothing Seems to Help

It is a growing phenomenon that more people are diagnosed with chronic fatigue or pain syndrome. It may not be a life-threatening condition, but it sure has a great impact on one’s quality of life. The saddest part of it is that once it is developed, nothing seems help to alleviate it. People are passively drawn further into the situation and don’t know what to do.

Chronic fatigue or pain syndrome (fibromyalgia may also be used loosely for this diagnosis) has multiple causative factors which intertwine tightly with each other. It is almost impossible to identify the cause of it and how to resolve it. However, it is a general agreement that people respond positively to physical exercises. The question is how to get started. The endurance of this group of people is extremely low and they cannot tolerate even gentle exercises.

Could You Have 'Texting Neck?'

If you’re anything like me you have your entire world on your cell phone. Contact information, a calendar full of appointments, important emails and even more important baby pictures. It is estimated that the average adult checks his or her cell phone 85 times a day. That equates to 23 days a year or 3.9 years of your life that you spend staring at that small screen. High school-aged individuals spend an additional 5,000 hours a year on their phones compared to the rest of us. It is apparent how important cell phones are in our lives and especially in our teen’s lives. The issue is that our bodies are not made to maintain this typical “cell phone posture” for long periods of time. This means that people are getting injured and an alarming amount of teens and adolescents with “text neck” pain are popping up in physical therapy clinics.

Injury in Musicians: Flutist

Sports injury is not a new term and everyone can understand the relationship between sports and injury. However, do you realize injury to musicians is common as well?

Association with the Amount of Practice
It may sound strange at first to hear of injuries being associated with the playing of music. But it's less difficult to understand when comparing it to marathon runners. Statistics show injuries increase tremendously when the runners run more than 19 miles a week. It's obvious there is a limit to how much physical stress our bodies can withstand before injuries occur. My daughter practices 1–2 hours a day, and she is already in pain. Many musicians practice over six hours a day, and I believe most of them live with pain to varying degrees.

What is the Physical Stress in Musicians?

The Forgotten Joint, Part 2

Last month, we talked about what the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) is and where it is located (The Forgotten Joint, Part 1). This month, we will continue with how to differentiate pain from the knee area and pain from the PFJ. But first we need to understand the biomechanics of the PFJ.

Biomechanics of the PFJ
The knee cap works as a single pulley with the quadriceps and the patellar tendon being the ropes attached to the top and bottom ends, respectively. Its function is to increase the efficiency of the quadriceps muscle in stabilizing the knee, especially in weight bearing position. The resultant force from the pull of these two ropes is the compression force to the PFJ. Just like in other joint pain, the more compression is at the joint, the more pain a patient will experience. At the PFJ, the compression increases as the knee goes into more bent positions.

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