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How to prevent cervical and back pain

Many workplaces and study routines require us to spend a large number of hours sitting, which significantly affects our health and can lead to back and neck pain. Back pain affects around 70-80% of the general population at some point in their lives. These problems are accentuated in times of heavy work or exams, due to the increase in hours in front of the screen or sitting in front of a table. In fact, up to 40% of cases that go to a physiotherapist’s consultation with back pain and this has poor postural hygiene.

Back, cervical and lumbar pain is an important health problem with a great impact on society, in terms of loss of quality of life, and is included among the most frequent ailments in the Spanish population. The supervisor of the Physiotherapy Unit at the Hospital of Dénia, Adrián Ventero, explains, for example, “that cervical pains arise from the hours in front of a screen sitting badly and cause an anteriorization of the shoulders and a rectification of the nearby area, increasing the tension in the muscles”. The most widespread mistakes when sitting are having the head forward, the shoulders slumped, the spine curved forward and not supporting the lower back on the backrest.

To prevent these discomforts, which can end up becoming chronic, and also to treat them, it is important, as the Physiotherapy specialists of the Ribera health group point out, perform exercises and stretches that mobilize these parts of our body. In the video accompanying this blog post, Irene, the group’s physiotherapist, explains the best stretches for some of the muscles involved in neck pain. He recommends doing them once or twice a day, between 30 seconds and a minute.

What is the correct posture for working and/or studying

  • The feet should always be on the ground and slightly apart from each other.
  • The computer must be located directly in front, to avoid excessive turns of the trunk, and in the horizontal plane of the head
  • The load of the body weight must be balanced and avoid shoulder antepulsion (shoulders forward and slightly up) because it favors dorsal kyphosis.
  • Your knees should be at or above your hips.
  • If your feet do not reach the floor well, you need to use a footrest with adjustable inclination.
  • To work with the computer, the keyboard must be low, so as not to raise your shoulders and rest your forearms on the table. The elevation must not exceed 25 cm.

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