Safeguard Your Shoulders & Spine

I work on the computer all day long! This has never been a problem for me, until about 10 months ago when I started to develop a nagging pain in my neck, shoulders and even in my lower back. I endured the discomfort for far too long before I traced it to poor alignment of the steering wheel in my Rav4, and also to the way I was hunching over my computer.

At the beginning of the year I resolved to find a solution for the pain and I set out doing what I always do when faced with a problem – I “googled” the topic. In my search I came across this great article on proper driver alignment – The ergonomics of driving. Through this information, I was able to conclude that my car seat was simply too far from my steering wheel which caused me to strain my arms and the muscles along the side of my neck. By moving my seat closer, I have some difficulty seeing the spedometer and my legs feel a little more cramped than I’d like, but finally no neck pain!Simple really – and this took me nearly a year to fix!

It has taught me a valuable lesson that I want to share – you really need to safeguard both your shoulders and your spine, because even the slightest strain in either area causes a great deal of pain. They do a lot of work keeping your upright, so you better treat them right.

In addition to simple adjustments in my driving and keyboarding habits, I have also undertaken a daily routine aimed at strengtening my core. I perform slow deliberate yoga and pilates poses with the emphasis on being SLOW. I have been doing pilates for five years, but it wasn’t until I recently started yoga that I realized I was doing the exercises far too quickly which was putting my back in jeopardy. Yoga has taught me to be more careful and to honor my body. As a result, I am now more cautious when performing exercises that can put strain on the delicate low back or neck. All in all, I feel much better and I can honestly say that even with a long day on the computer I don’t feel sore or strained.

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