If we look at how our bodies are designed there are a series of joints starting from our feet to our spine which are all part of a sequence which help absorb shock, transfer weight evenly and to share the load while walking/running/ playing.
Now if we look at desk worker, they can sit anywhere between 30 – 50+ hours a week, sitting creates the most pressure into our vertebral joints than any other position so it’s no wonder I see so many people coming into the clinic complaining of back pain! As you can see in this well know graph below (which was researched and created by Nachemson) you can see that sitting creates an extra 40% load on our lumber disc. What astounds me more about this graph is that when sitting with poor posture the load increases to 175%.
Now the reason I am writing this article is because as a practicing Myotherapist for the past 6 years I can honestly say that the most common symptoms I see in the clinic is either low back pain or neck and shoulder pain. As the world of computers is evolving, more and more people are spending hours sitting on their bottoms at work in front of the computer, and then sitting on their commute home either in the car or on the train, then sitting on the couch when they get home and playing on their ipads/iphones/ipods (most people of 1 or all of them). Then for 1 hour every 2 weeks they come in for their Myotherapy treatment and expect me to cure them, it’s simply a battle I just can’t win.
That is why when I discovered the wonders of Pilates and studied to become a teacher, I became excited by the difference, we as Pilates Instructors can make on people’s lives short term and long term. Yes as a Myotherapist I can ease your symptoms temporarily but for long term results strength and endurance in the postural muscles is the key.
Referring back to the graph below it shows that sitting with ideal posture creating even weight distribution through the spine creates 135% less load into the lumber disc, which is huge! Disc irritation can cause pain and instability in the region around the disc which in turn can then create the muscles around this area to spasm and protect which in turn can create the body to compensate in other areas which in turn can affect lower limb biomechanics and create neck and shoulder pain and numerous other pains and problems I could go on forever.
As majority of the population cannot avoid sitting, as its part of their job, it’s vital that steps are taken to improve their strength and posture. The pain may not be present now but later on down the track it will all come back to bite them. Once the disc is prolapsed it can never be prepared, yes they have now develop disc replacement surgery but any surgery involves risk and is invasive to the body and better to avoid at all cost. Prevention is always better than cure so get in there and do Pilates and create a better future for you and your body!