Do you feel that your pain awakens you every night but subsides during the day? Perhaps your sleeping position is perpetuating your pain? We spend a significant part of the day sleeping, so it greatly affects the body. Or maybe the pain worsens throughout the day? Perhaps your work ergonomics are not optimal.
One of the most important things in treatment is to change and address the cause of the problem, which is often an incorrect postural habit in certain situations. We spend long hours, whether sleeping or working, in positions we are accustomed to, which are not always optimal. Muscles and ligaments can be in a state of strain, muscles in a state of shortening, for long hours, day after day. Continuous strain of the muscles can impair muscle activity and ligaments, causing joint instability. Shortening of the muscles distorts posture and can cause pressure on other structures such as certain nerves. These conditions may cause chronic pain.
To rewind the clock, the patient needs to do exercises to strengthen the muscles that have been weakened all these years. Have you ever trained with relatively heavy weight and started to develop pain within seconds? That’s exactly what happens when a person who sits bent (see figure 1) tries to sit straight. He complains of pain and claims that sitting straight is not suitable for him! WRONG! His back straighteners are simply weak! His arms are stretched forward to the keyboard and back bent. The abdominal muscles are shortened for long hours, back muscles are stretched and weakened. He needs to start with easier exercises, even if it hurts a little at the beginning.
See how a 8-month-old baby sits so beautifully (figure 2). Without instructions. Correct sitting position in front of a computer is demonstrated in figure 3. A simple exercise is shown in clip 1. Note the armrest.
See figure 4 for incorrect sleeping posture due to the same principle: structures on one side are stretched and the other side is shortened. There may be pressure on the neck nerves that will cause pain to radiate along the entire upper limb. Figure 5 shows correct sleep, with the body lying in a straight line with the head.
The ‘plank belly’ exercise strengthens all four abdominal muscles (figure 6). Start gradually and with strengthening, go up until you reach a minute or more. If the back hurts in this exercise, you can slightly raise the buttocks, but it reduces the difficulty and effectiveness of the exercise. This exercise is not easy at all!
It is advisable to consult a physiotherapist or personal trainer regarding exercises and not to rely on populist beliefs.
Don’t just train what is comfortable for you! Also train what challenges you though within your capabilities! I have given you a few examples that can be done at home. Instructors usually give exercises for all parts of the body and try to balance the muscles.