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Ergonomics and Poor Body Postures

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

My problem is this: I have a neck pain right at the base of my skull on my right side. One day I woke up and couldn't turn my face to my left anymore. I didn't think of it much at that time but I had an increasingly bad problem with my neck. I tried to massage the area with some muscle rub, put a heater on, place some ice on it and do exercises that could help me out. I figured it is because of the two pillows I put under my head while I sleep. Problems that come with poor posture are common now among people of any age, thanks to the growing use of computers, the sedentary lifestyles of young people who do not work their muscles enough, the elderly who suffer with lost muscle strength and arthritis, young mothers who run around with little kids and don't have enough time to work out, men in their middle age who develop a belly with no physical activity at all and in athletes who overwork their body parts.

Health care workers who constantly deal with patient care have to acquire different body positions in order to help patients out or do their duties such as transporting the patients, lifting the patients, and positioning patients for specific positions for X-rays. IT professionals suffer with wrist, elbow, neck and lower back pain due to their job duties that call for constantly looking into the screens and data entry and sitting in one place. The elderly who stay in bed for longer periods of time develop lower back pains. Even small children develop neck and back problems with the excessive usage of television and video games.

There are some basic tips that can help reduce the injuries with different parts of the body:

1. When reaching for something heavy on the floor, bend at the knees instead of bending at the waist.

2. When sitting at the computer for longer periods of time take a break in between to walk around and stretch.

3. When sitting at the computer, sit in a chair that allows you to keep both the soles of the feet flat on the floor and torso at a ninety degree angle with the back straight.

4. When pushing a heavy load use the back of the legs rather than your back.

5. When pulling a heavy load keep the load closer to your torso.

6. When typing on the keyboard use a cushion that supports your wrists and allows for your elbows on the table.

7. Do not make sudden moves from a sitting position or standing position.

8. Do not turn with your upper body in place, instead turn the whole body as a log.

9. If you have back problems, place a pillow in between your knees on the side position or under your knees when on your back in order to avoid further complications.

10. People with arthritis should stretch each part of the body slowly early in the morning as it is the time when all the muscles are the most stiff.

11. Warm up exercises should include stretching every part of the body before exercising.

12. When a particular part of the body is stiff try to do stretching exercises that include moving the part in the direction of the pain.

13. Warm compress followed by cold compress helps me out when I'm in pain.

14. Anti inflammatory medicines such as Advil or Aleve could help, but if the pain lasts for long a doctor should be consulted.

15. Do not use the muscle rub followed by heat compression as it tends to burn the skin.

Simple and gentle exercises and the right postures help us use our muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons properly as they are supposed to. Watching our positions, exercising regularly and eating the right foods help our bodies stay in shape and help prevent complications because, OUR LIFE MATTERS.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.