Back, neck and shoulder pain is the natural result of prolonged sitting at work behind a computer, as is bad posture. This can cause headaches and excessive tension in neck, shoulders, arms, forearms, wrists, back, hips, thighs and legs. The result is increased fatigue to the muscles and ligaments supporting the lower back and this can eventually lead to tissue injury and spinal joint dysfunction. Avoid these problems by posture correction, exercise and correct use of equipment.
Symptoms of back problems due to excessive computer use include:
* Back and neck muscle spasm and pain
* Back and neck soft tissue inflammation
* Back, neck and shoulder pain on movement and involvement of other muscles as a reaction
* Referred pain to buttocks and thighs or up the spine
Preventing back and neck pain while sitting is not an exact science as there are many differing opinions on the subject. However, there are some common denominators on which most chiropractors and other medical professionals agree:
Tips to Prevent Computer Related Neck and Shoulder Pain
Do not slouch in front of the computer or lie in bed and work on a laptop.
Do not work for hours in front of a computer without breaks.
Do not ignore back twinges and back pain, hoping that the problem will resolve itself.
Avoid taking pain or anti-inflammatory medication when in pain from using a computer. This will serve to mask the symptoms but can lead to serious injury or permanent nerve damage in the long term.
Do not sit on one leg or sit with legs crossed as this causes additional strain to the back.
Do not perch a laptop on the lap and stare down at the screen - this places extra strain on the neck, spine and arms.
Buy a chair that encourages you to use your back muscles, such as a stool chair with no back or arm rests. Lower back pain can be reduced or eliminated by strengthening the lower back muscles through active sitting exercises.
Buy an ergonomic keyboard and mouse and ensure that the height is adjusted appropriately.
Have a break every hour and do stretching exercises like neck rolls, chin tucks, cupping head in hands behind the head and extension exercises.
Visiting a Chiropractic Clinic
A chiropractor is a medical professional who treats spinal column dysfunction. Back and neck pain may be the result of the back being badly aligned and the chiropractor sets out to relieve the problem by manual manipulation, exercise, massage and the application of heat, cold and light.
Massage Therapy to Relieve Back and Neck Pain
If done correctly, massage therapy can help to relieve back pain and tension. It is best to find a therapist trained in techniques that address back pain issues and has a knowledge of muscle imbalances relating to back pain, such as sports injuries. Massage therapy should never be considered a substitute for proper medical attention where there are serious back problems.
_Acute or chronic back problems can make everyday life a misery. Acute pain may be caused by a pulled muscle or problems with tendons, ligaments or bone. Incorrect posture, lack of exercise and/or obesity are factors that can take their toll on the back muscles. Aromatherapy using essential oils can relieve back pain naturally.
Many people seek relief for back pain by taking over-the-counter pain medications or prescription drugs which often have negative side effects, decreasing overall well-being. Obviously, not all cases of back pain can be relieved by aromatherapy and it is always wise to seek the advice of a medical professional to discuss treatment options, especially in the event of chronic back pain.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils that are extracted from different plants. These essential oils have medicinal properties, which work on the physical and mental levels to address the ailment at hand and to promote healing.
The best form of aromatherapy for back pain is a massage using essential oils. Simply mix a couple of drops of your chosen oil with a carrier oil and arrange to have a professional masseur or aromatherapist massage your back for you. This serves to increase circulation and to relieve the aching and tightness. Massage therapy also helps to relieve stress and promotes the circulation of blood to the area, while the aroma of the essential oils works through the olfactory system.
Best essential oils for back pain
The following essential oils can all be used to treat back pain naturally:
Chamomile oil helps to control muscle spasms and has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lavender oil prevents muscle spasms and inflammation. It also helps to relieve tension, which may contribute to or worsen back pain.
Clary sage is a very soothing oil. It has a calming effect when one is anxious and muscles are tensed up from pain. It has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. Do not use clary sage if pregnant.
Yarrow has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties.
Rosemary has analgesic and antispasmodic properties. It is also good for relieving back pain as it improves blood circulation.
Ginger oil can ease back pain and give one more mobility. Blend 1 tablespoon sweet oil, 4 drops wintergreen, 4 drops cardamom and 4 drops ginger oil to make a soothing massage oil.
Peppermint is good for muscle soreness.
Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as a mild sedative.
While you can use any of these oils on their own, it is also beneficial to blend two or more oils together. Do not apply essential oils directly on the skin - blend oils or combinations thereof with a carrier oil first. Optimal aromatherapy blends for relieving back pain include peppermint and rosemary, lavender and frankincense, and chamomile and clary sage.
Take an aromatherapy bath as an effective method to soothe tired, aching muscles and to increase circulation. Add eight to ten drops of essential oils directly to warm bath water and soak for fifteen to twenty minutes.
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