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Keep that Body Moving – Maintenance Tips from an Osteopath.

Dr. Carlos Olson of BodyRight Healthcare

Dr. Carlos Olson 

At BodyRight Healthcare, we are extremely fortunate to have passionate practitioners who all have varying areas of expertise and specialties. This week, we chatted to Dr Carlos Olson, a registered osteopath who splits his time between his own private practice and within the Aged Care facilities as a “BodyRighter”. 

Carlos has a fantastic understanding of the musculoskeletal system and takes great pride in seeing the progression of all his patients/clients through his extensive rehabilitation programs. Our goal at BodyRight Healthcare is to help people get their “bodies right” and with Carlos’s list of exercises, we all will be one step closer to achieving this feat. Enjoy.

The human body was designed to move, not to sit. But this has become increasingly difficult with most of the working population sitting down at a desk for eight hours a day. When we are stuck in the same position for long periods of time, our bodies adapt and mould to that position. And for those who spend all their time at a desk, this is not a good position to be in. 

This sedentary mould can lead to observable changes in the neck that include:

  • Forward head carriage: the chin creeps forward to get closer to the computer screen, creating more tension in the neck as the head is not sitting flush on the spine. 
  • Upper back hump: caused by looking down at our phones for too long.
  • Rounded shoulders: caused by weak back muscles and from reaching too far forward to the keyboard.
  • Tight shoulders, stiff neck, jaw pain and headaches.

Observable changes that occur in the lower back include:

  • Forward rotated pelvis: sitting in a chair rotates our hips out of alignment and makes the surrounding muscles of the hips stiff and sore.  
  • Increased lordosis: lordosis is the curve in your spine. Long periods of sitting increase the curve in your lower spine making your lower back stiff and sore, and predisposing you to injuries. 
  • Tight hamstrings, hip flexors and lower back muscles: sitting down makes our muscles “switch off” and become weak from inactivity. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Left unmanaged, these types of changes can lead to major musculoskeletal injuries that will not only inhibit your productivity at work, but also limit what you can do and achieve outside of the workplace. This affects your social life, active life and overall quality of life. 

Never fear; there are ways to combat all this doom and gloom! Here are some of my go-to exercises for desk jockeys!

Neck exercises*:

  • Lock rhomboids
  • Pillow case slides
  • Chin tucks
  • Neck side bend muscle energy technique (MET)
  • Ws, Ts and Ys
  • Scapula push ups

Lower back exercises*:

  • Lumbar rock
  • Cat cow
  • Child’s pose
  • Pelvic tilt with glute bridge
  • Bridge with march
  • Cobra
  • Bird dog
  • Side plank

*Stay tuned to BodyRight Healthcare socials over the coming weeks for more content surrounding these exercises.

The most important exercise of them all is to get up out of your chair every half hour and move around for one minute. Go fill up your water glass, walk a lap around your desk or just stand up and wriggle around for one minute. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re moving!

Remember, the advice and opinions presented above are those of a registered practitioner and may or may not be right for you. Please contact your personal Allied Health professional to receive the best advice for your individual circumstances.

For more information, health tips and premium Allied Health services, contact us today.