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Article: CORRECT POSTURE AND THE EFFECTS OF SMART WORKING

LA POSTURA CORRETTA E GLI EFFETTI DELLO SMART WORKING
CERVICALE

CORRECT POSTURE AND THE EFFECTS OF SMART WORKING

Dr. Rossano Zangerolami, Osteopath

 

Smart Working has allowed many workers to continue their business from home, so it was an excellent opportunity to find work continuity.

Smart Working means 'agile working', but certainly not for our backs and the increase in musculoskeletal disorders (DMS) during this pandemic, especially at the cervical level, is proof of this.

Cervical pain

It is the pain we feel in the neck, along the cervical spine, and it is one of the most common pains, especially among video terminal operators. Knowing the reason that triggers the disorder could help us adopt behaviors and movements to avoid and correct it.

The origin of the onset of pain is multifactorial and mainly determined by two types of factors:

 physical: generated by prolonged time spent in an inappropriate position/posture, lack of adequate physical exercise, repeated hand movements.

 psychosocial: generated by stress, such as conflict between work and private life, problems in family management (especially for those with responsibilities for caring for minors or elderly people), hostile work environment and monotonous tasks.

Posture

Incorrect postures risk bringing out latent muscle or joint disorders or causing new ones in the short or long term.

Neck pain in particular is significantly associated with using the mouse for more than 2 hours, using the computer for more than 6 hours or stressful positions with increased neck/head flexion forward for more than 1 hour without regular breaks.

Unfortunately we find ourselves working with notebooks that force us to continuously look with our heads in front, with chairs taken from the dining table that do not support our back, often leaving us with the curvature of the lumbar spine reversed.

This problem does not only concern workers, but also includes students! Many of them find themselves following lessons from tablets or, even worse, from cell phones, remaining for hours in incorrect postures which cause joint and visual overload.

Tensions, in particular in the muscles of the cervical spine, generate contractures which over time will create localized pain at the base of the occiput, the trapezius muscle or the subscapularis, also giving rise to significant episodes of tension headaches.

Remedies

Working in Smart Working mode is possible, but to reduce risks it is recommended to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles with appropriate exercises. You then need to use table stands for PCs: the monitor should always be positioned at eye level.

If you use a laptop, use books to raise it and an external keyboard to maintain the correct position of your elbows. In fact, it is important to avoid looking down so as not to strain your cervical spine. It is also essential to sit with lumbar support. Use an ergonomic chair, if possible, so that it can be adjusted according to the characteristics of the subject; in some cases the use of an inflatable cushion could be useful. Usage time should also be monitored. It's appropriate take a break every 30 minutes to rest your spine and reactivate your muscles.

To reactivate the latter, simply:

  • take a few steps
  • stretch your back
  • perform simple shoulder circles to stretch the neck muscles

A fundamental piece of advice in this period, where even gyms are closed, is to stay active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle, therefore, if possible, go jogging or aerobic exercise, but simple walks are also fine to avoid loss of muscle tone.

Osteopathic treatment

The intervention of an Osteopath, based on a postural analysis and an in-depth medical history, is the winning weapon for eliminating pain and bringing the body back to its original balance.

By proceeding with a personalized treatment, the professional will be able, through manipulations (articular and/or visceral), cranio-sacral techniques, stretching and muscle strengthening, to eliminate the origin of the body decompensation.

Treatment for neck pain

  • To promote relaxation after an intense day of work, apply a few drops of Sinergia SA, a balsamic blend of essential oils that helps the respiratory tract and re-oxygenation of the skin.
  • Perform a massage on the affected area with a few drops of Olio Strongful  which acts on muscle stiffness with a decontracting and anti-fatigue action
  • Then apply the Balsamo BeC, a clever combination of essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties, including Savory and Wintergreen, and calming, such as Chamomile and Lavender, which make it able to effectively counteract local irritation, providing immediate relief.

You can repeat the treatment twice a day.

Listen to your body and always take care of yourself!

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