The reason I write these email/blog articles is to inform and help educate my clientele and others of some of the most common muscular-skeletal problems I see and what might be the best way to prevent or correct them in my opinion. The reason I do this is because the view and approach I guide my clientele through to understand the cause of these problems and resolve and prevent them seems to be dramatically different from what they are receiving from the typical provider. Not that those providers are wrong in their approach, there is just a completely different view that can be seen when fully considering the nuero-muscular affect of the skeletal system and its joints and connective tissues.
Over recent months some of the most common issues I’ve seen, seem to be related to what is now becoming known as the sitting disease. These issues related to sitting disease can range anywhere from neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, hips, elbow, forearms, and hand pain or dysfunction.
For some reason over the past six months a large percentage of the people I’ve seen have had complications that stem from sitting for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis. I think the reason I’ve seen more of them lately is because these people are going back to their offices and telling their coworkers, family and friends of the sudden changes they are seeing, so their cohort calls me pretty quickly.
I’ve had several cases lately where guys were traders who sat at computers all day long, day after day, in very high stress environments whose necks had been killing them for months to years. They were getting regular weekly massages, seeing chiropractors regularly, and had been to their physicians who ran tests (MRI and X-rays) to make sure there was no damage to their necks. They would get some relief but only to have the problems return in short order. After having seen them two to four times, correcting many muscular weaknesses, giving them corrective exercises to help prevent these weakness from reoccurring and then coaching them on proper posture and movement for their particular weaknesses and chronic positions they are now all happy campers (or traders).
There has also been a recent onslaught of people with chronic shoulder and hand problems. In each of these cases they have also been subjected to many hours and days at desks reading, writing, and/or on computers. In all cases I’m referring to these people could not refer to any instances where they had a traumatic occurrence where they had injured their hands or shoulders. In every single case these people always pointed to areas that they describe as chronically tight and painful, and in each instance I will find opposing muscles using MAT testing techniques that are weak. When these weak muscles are corrected there is almost always an immediate sense of release in the troubled areas. Now that doesn’t mean that these muscles will remain this way indefinitely but it does mean we are headed in the right direction. More work is needed! These muscles in some cases have been weak for decades; they need a little more stimulating and very direct proper corrective exercises and then coaching on preventative measures to stop the exacerbation of these weaknesses. *As a side note: for the people with the chronic hand problems, I believe it is very likely that these people would eventually be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. This is one of the cases where I break my almost cardinal rule of not stretching in the immediate future while trying to return neurological strength to a particular area. In the case of these hand issues, after correcting all weaknesses in the hand and forearm it is imperative to start doing a very specific stretch to begin addressing some extremely chronic tonicity (tightness)!
Please note that purely stretching or strength training these areas of weakness and/or tightness will not resolve these problems in most cases! This almost always gets confused as being the same thing or similar to what MAT does by those who have not experienced Muscle Activation.
Sitting with the head shifted forward seems to have become the most common long term position in our society. The human body was obviously designed to move and any long term position without motion is going to cause problems with these bodies. These problems can vary tremendously are seldom identical from one person to the next and only through precise and thorough testing will the problems that have developed be detected.
Along with Muscle Activation as a means for detecting and resolving the problems caused by prolonged sitting, I’d like to refer you to and recommend some fairly new equipment that I’ve recently begun recommending to my clients who’ve been plagued with these problems. Something has to be done to prevent people from having to continually remain in the same position in order to get their full days work done and I think this may be one of the best means of prevention I’ve seen to date. Please click on the following links to take a look; Ergotron, Just Stand.org
Also here is a little short video that I think drives the whole sitting disease discussion straight home;
Please watch the video! Just Stand!
The gist of it all!
Okay so here is the gist of the whole painful phenomenon.
Our bodies simply cannot take long hours or a majority of our lives fixed in one position or nearly one position without very negative repercussions.
Our bodies were designed to be in motion and should be moving through the full range of motion of every joint or we will begin to lose the ability to do so.
Once the affects of sitting disease have begun to set in muscles will become traumatized and will stop working properly causing the tightening of opposing muscles. (which is where pain is usually realized) The only affective and accurate means of detecting and correcting all of the muscles in this condition is Muscle Activation Technique.
Whether you have or have not begun to experience sitting disease if you spend a lot of hours at a computer or a desk you have got to find a way to change that so that you can frequently move. Do not allow yourself to accept that this is just what you do and millions of others are doing the same thing and they all seem okay! Change the way you’re doing things by getting one of the Ergotron products or something similar and stop this debilitating process before it becomes irreversible.
If you have had some of the symptoms of sitting disease like, neck, shoulder, back, elbow, or hand dysfunction or discomfort then we need to make sure that everything is functioning properly with Muscle Activation. Caution! If you have been having some of these symptoms changing your work environment is going to be beneficial but that alone will not correct the weeks, months, years of damage and trauma done to the muscles it will only delay the amount of time it takes to become severe!
One more tip!
Here is on other piece information that I have found to be very helpful, maybe not for the long term but certainly for the interim until moving through out the day becomes habit. Work Rave
Work Rave is a free downloadable program that will run in the background of you computer who’s parameters can be set as you desire. Work Rave will pop up at a frequency you prescribe to tell you to take a break. It will give suggestions for eye movement and exercises.
For more information on Muscle Activation Technique and how it may help you please visit: