Whatever you do to earn a living, the way you go about your typical work activities can needlessly set you up for discomfort and even injury. Keep your back, neck, and arms in working order with these tips for avoiding job-related pain from Dr. Charles Friedman, a pain specialist and medical director at Pain Relief Centers in Pinellas Park, Florida.
Good posture can do wonders to prevent or alleviate back and neck pain caused by slouching in an office chair, moving materials, or even standing still for too long. To minimize stress on your muscles, bones, and joints:
* Hold head straight with chin slightly tucked.
* Align earlobes with center of shoulders.
* Keep shoulders back, chest forward, and knees straight.
* Stretch top of head toward ceiling.
* Tuck stomach, but don’t tilt pelvis either forward or backward.
* Change positions frequently. Just move!
Computer users, landscapers, and factory workers can develop repetitive motion injuries of the elbow, wrist, and forearm. For all of you computer jockeys out there, here’s how to sidestep “mouse” elbow and other painful problems:
* Place keyboard above thighs and at arm’s length.
* Position mouse to one side of keyboard.
* Set monitor at eye-level and directly in front of you.
* Take breaks to rest arm muscles and tendons.
* Do a wall stretch. Facing wall, extend left arm at 90-degree angle to body with palm facing wall. Open chest to the right and extend fingers and palm away from the wall. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat with right arm.
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