Chronic Neck Pain? Try Better Posture
More than 60% of us suffer some kind of chronic neck or shoulder pain in our lifetimes. The risk increases significantly when we talk about office workers (or heavy screen users in general) or overhead athletes (see our blog about overhead athletes and posture here). A recent study linked neck pain to poor posture. We decided to dig into the details!
Blame it On The Scapula
A scapula is a bone ‘bridge’ that is located in your shoulder and that connects your shoulder to the spine. These bones (we have one on each side) plays a very important role in providing mobility and stability to the neck and shoulder region. Poor posture (when your shoulder curl forward or pull back to much) leads to scapular dysfunction, which we know can cause shoulder pain. Recent evidence also points that it may be a source of chronic neck pain as well.
Restoring Scapular Disfunction
We spend more on chronic pain than we do on cancer, heart disease and HIV combined (or about $6B a year in health care costs alone; when you add in cost of productivity, you’re looking at a whooping $37B). Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain are among the most common pains reported by Canadians. The good news? There is plenty of science out there that links exercise and manual therapy as solutions to some cases of back, shoulder and neck pains. If the cure is out there, why aren’t more people using it?
The Weak Muscle/Weak Will Problem
We know that we need to do certain exercises and therapy technique to improve our posture, and with it, lessen the chronic pain in our backs, necks and shoulders. But re-training your posture with will power alone is very difficult. It requires constant awareness of your posture, which tends to change depending on your work set-up, environment and even your mood. Weaker muscles are especially difficult to train with will power alone because they tend to re-settle into comfortable positions. So even though proper posture will hurt less in the long run, people may experience soreness or discomfort in the initial journey of posture re-training. The result – you may feel demotivated and unsuccessful in your efforts to bring your posture where it needs to be, and will continue to suffer chronic pain.
Use Smart Tools That Work With You
Bladeflex is an example of a posture-training system that works with you, not against you. Flexibility in wear and versatility help make sure posture training doesn’t get in the way of activities you enjoy, whether it’s shopping, walking the dog or working out at the gym. Bladeflex is a long-term commitment to good posture and needs to be worn just 20 minutes a day. The adjustable torque makes sure your weak muscles continue to be challenged and get stronger – and the incremental increases mean that muscle training comes at lowest possible discomfort to you. Bladeflex also comes with an instruction manual that demonstrates the exercises you should be doing to round out your training program. So for 30 minutes a day, the muscles around your shoulders and back will become stronger, correcting your posture, and ridding you of pain!