Ask the Doctor: Sore Neck & Back

Question:
I find that my neck and back become sore and achy sitting at my desk all day working on my computer. Is there anything I can do to make it better?

Answer:
Sitting at a computer all day is a prime example of postural stress. Your head weighs about 10-12 pounds. For every inch that your head moves forward to the center of gravity, it adds 10 pounds of weight to the posterior neck muscles. As we sit are lower back muscles fatigue and we slump causing are head to shift forward to the center of gravity.

It is imperative to use a lumbar support while sitting for long periods of time and I like the tempurpedic lumbar support available on my web site. Switching over to a tempurpedic pillow will also help support the natural lordotic curve of the neck, thus removing much of the postural stress incurred while sleeping.

It is important to stretch the spine in a forward, backward, side bending and twisting motion daily. There are restorative yoga stretches in my book Renew Yourself with pictures. The book has pictures of forward bend and twisting stretches that can be done at your desk.

If you are over 50 you should be doing 4-5 minutes of intermittent cervical traction every morning with the Pettibon cervical traction unit available on my site. It is also time to start getting traction on the thoracic and lumbar spine with the Om Gym.

Additionally improving your digestion by drinking warm water with cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds in a thermos will improve digestion and help remove some of the toxins in the body that contribute to stiffness. I would also recommend fasting one day a week on juices and warm homemade soups. Keeping inflammation down by eating fresh prepared organic foods will also be beneficial.

Additionally one can work on the acupuncture- acupressure points Large intestine 4 for the neck pain and stiffness, and Bladder 60 for low and mid back pain. Instructions and pictures how to find these points is available in my book Renew Yourself .

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