Have you ever complained that work is literally a pain in the neck?!
Many office workers report feelings of stiffness, soreness, tightness, pain and restriction, particularly in their neck, back, shoulders and hips. Why is that and what causes it? There are of course many reasons which vary from person to person. We have outlined below a few possible causes as well as how to prevent them.
- The human body is designed to move, yet repeating the same movements over and over again with little variation can cause muscular imbalances and lead to pain, even if that movement just happens to be sitting!
- Another culprit can be poor posture which can arise for a number of reasons. Poor posture really just means organising the body in a way that isn’t quite right for the job at hand, or in other words, an imbalance where some muscles are doing more than their fair share and others are being a bit lazy! Overworked muscles will become sore: it’s their way of telling you they’re doing too much!
- Poor hydration and nutrition may be contributing factors too. All systems in the body require the right fuel to work efficiently and the muscular system is no different. Muscles need oxygen, water and nutrients and an imbalance of these ingredients may lead to sub-optimal performance and potentially pain.
If imbalance causes dysfunction then a better balanced body is more likely to suffer less discomfort. Below are a few reasons why self massage can target these imbalances and set you on the road to better performance. Won’t your boss be pleased.
- It’s a no-brainer that the first thing we can do is move more frequently and in a greater variety of ways. Self massage will stretch the muscles gently by applying pressure to the tight knots in the muscles which we call trigger points. Now those knots may not necessarily be where you’re feeling pain so for guidance on which spots to treat, our massage therapists will happily demonstrate. Whilst you may not get to move around much during the course of the day, some gentle stretching in the form of self massage will help a little towards freeing up those tired overworked muscles.
- Secondly, poor posture is going to benefit from self massage. Muscles work in pairs; whilst one contracts, the other lengthens. Through poor postural habits, the overworked muscles will tighten further and the opposing muscles will become gradually overly lengthened and weak, making it hard to move or organise ourselves in any other way. This can lead to a cycle of poor posture causing tight muscles and further bad posture. Self massage will help to loosen up restricted muscles and give those weaker under-utilised muscles the best chance of working properly again.
- Thirdly, good hydration and diet are integral to feeling good. Firstly we need to get the right ingredients into the body and then get them travelling to the required areas via the bloodstream – and guess what – self-massage can help. Massage is a really effective way of softening and heating up the muscles, opening up the blood vessels and getting those essential nutrients travelling around the body and into the tissues that need them.
If you would like to learn more about self massage techniques, a remedial massage is a good place to start. During your massage our therapist will find the problem areas and you can experience for yourself the relief in your aches and pains when the right spot gets treated. If you’re motivated to do a little self-care and learn how to treat some of your issues for yourself with simple self massage techniques, our therapists will happily show you where to work, how long for, how often and which tool to use for the job.
For further enquiries please call Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies on 03 9645 9923 or pop in to see us at Southgate Health and speak directly with one of our therapists. Online bookings are available at our booking page