If you spend many hours at a desk, you have probably experienced neck pain and tension headaches. There are many things that can contribute to these painful problems. One of them is could be poor posture.
I have two causes for poor posture. Not only do I spend a lot of time in front of a laptop, but I grew up in the Stone Age and had what was called the ’70’s slouch. It was common to see a “relaxed” posture when sitting, standing and everything else in those days. It was part of the rebellion against traditional roles and authority. It also did terrible things to our backs and contributed to some of my worst headaches, I’m sure. My point is that it’s not just an old lady’s problem, it’s one that can affect you at any age.
So, that brings us to today. I tried using back braces and they did help. I wore it often to work and found that my tension headaches were gone.
The problem with a brace was that my shoulders and my underarms ached at the end of the day – no headache, but I couldn’t wear them every day. And I had to wear an undershirt under it because it scratched my skin. Still, it did the job, but my posture did not improve. So, it’s a quick fix, but not a permanent one.
Next, I tried doing more exercise. I walked, ran, lifted weights, etc. That helped, at first, but I found I would still end up slumping in my chair at the end of a long writing session.
So, I started researching the problem and I found this video (below). The instructor, Jeff Cavalleire, is a physical therapist and strength coach. In this video he shows exactly what you are doing to your posture when your shoulders slump inward and downward. He shows this posture affects the muscles that hold you up. His young assistant demonstrates how it changed his posture. This was very encouraging.
They demonstrate some easy exercises to train your muscles and some things you can do during the day to check on your posture and correct it.
“Rounded shoulders are one of the most common postural problems that not only makes us look bad when standing but it compromises our bodies over time. In this video, I’m going to show you how to fix rounded shoulders in just 4 steps by attacking the problem with the right series of corrections. In order to get rid of round shoulders you will have to work on correcting joint issues, muscle weakness, muscle tightness and bad habits.” – Jeff Cavalleire
I wish I had known this information years ago. It might have saved me a lot of needless pain. But, then, back in the ’70s, we were just beginning to discover so much about training muscles and the benefits of strength training as we age.
I’ve tried these exercises myself and seen improvement in a very short time. It involves minimal equipment and time, which is always a plus for me. I use the type of resistance bands shown below at home. They can be purchased at Amazon. (Please note that I get a commission on these Amazon links.)
However, if you are working outside the home these wide bands below will also work and are easier to carry in a purse or briefcase. They’re useful for arm and leg strengthening while at a desk job, too. (And they’re cheaper.)
Sports medicine and training have made great strides over the decades. It is truly amazing how much athletic performance has improved in every sport. And even for Senior Citizens, we can benefit greatly from it. We can live with less pain and have greater mobility than other generations.
Until next time. 😊