Physiotherapy – Bringing Science to Therapy (Part 1)

Neck pain and headaches are increasingly common with the level of general inactivity, sedentary lifestyles and ‘desk time’ caused by modern life but there are many ways to combat these. Below, our resident physio, Jo Rees, explains how exercise and therapy can work together to alleviate these symptoms and provide treatment for long-term relief.

The Effects of Poor Posture

You could be suffering from Upper Crossed Syndrome but how can you tell? Are you experiencing the following problems?

  • Flexed lower back
  • Rounded upper back and shoulders
  • Chin pokes forward
  • Head spends too much time looking at a screen!

General hunch PC Hunch

What adverse affects does this have?

This can lead to an imbalance of muscles and joint at the front of your chest.

  • Tight muscles in the back of your neck
  • Stiff joints in your upper back and neck
  • Weak muscles at the back of your shoulders and deep within your neck

Why is this a problem?

A muscle imbalance like this can lead to painful tight tissues that can refer pain across the neck and shoulders as well as up into the head. This can also be a contributing factor for back and shoulder joint problems as well as nerve pain in the arms.

Good PC Posteure

What can be done to help?

  1.  Make sure your desk space is set up to help you sit in a good upright posture.
    • You want the weight of your head to sit centrally in line with your shoulders and lower back.
    • Contact Occupational Health through your manager if you need more help and advice with this.
  2. Move regularly!
    • Your tissues need blood supply and oxygen which can only come when you move.
  3. Physio can help you to find specific neck and back stretches to make you more flexible and comfortable by reducing the strain through your joints and muscles.
  4. Treatment called manual therapy, including massage and joint mobilisation, can help with pain coming from the muscles and joints.
  5. Dry needling and acupuncture is a treatment which can relieve pain and tension in muscles around the neck and shoulders.
  6. Postural taping can help your body learn how to sit in a good position.
  7. Strength and stability exercises for your neck and shoulders support the structures and help you have the endurance to sit well for longer.

So, if you think you’re suffering from upper crossed syndrome or any other sporting or overuse injury or ailment, get in touch with the Centre for Sport to book a physio or sports massage appointment.

Call – 0117 3286 200
Go Online – Visit the physio and massage pages of the website
Come In – Ask reception at the Centre for Sport on the Frenchay Campus, UWE Bristol

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