Back and in this I include neck pain, is the most common physical problem that clients come to see me with. Cambridge may not be typical but in my practice 90% of the clients with back and neck problems spend long periods sitting in front of computers, more often than not with less than ideal ergonomics. I do get other reasons for back pain such as lots of bending over gardening but these are in the minority.
All this is perhaps no great surprise when a large percentage of GP visits and subsequent sick notes are associated with, “non specific back pain.”
I went through a few exercises with a client recently for her to carry out at least every other one hour break when using her computer and they were all ones she has been taught in the past by an osteopath!
Our language (at least in UK) does not help in this. Phrases such as, “Put your back into it.” do not encourage safe and good practices. Yet outside of my time learning circus skills and in health and safety workshops when in the NHS, I have not heard regularly, “Use your legs!”
How do I work with this? Choosing oils is always done with the larger picture in mind, addressing psychological as well as physical issues. In the actual massage therapy part of the treatment, I am looking at relaxing the muscle groups involved and looking for localised muscles that are tight and may be pulling the spine out of alignment. However if this going on it is only occasionally that it is really obvious. More often the problem is more subtle and generally helping the body to relax and let go rather than intense work on a specific area is what is required.
And most importantly for my clients here in Cambridge is RELAX! Sitting in front of a computer with as a few clients have told me they notice, their shoulders up around their ears is inevitably going to lead to problems eventually.