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Jobs can be a pain in the back!

Shannon K, lmt; edited by Raymond S. Sep 24, 2016

 

Massage is excellent for almost everyone.  However there are some occupations that can place more stress on the body than others, making massage even more important.  In these occupations there is a lot of overuse in certain areas that cause more stress on the body.  When we do the same motions day to day there is a visible effect on our backs and bodies that massage therapists are able to see and, in many cases, alleviate.

In jobs where people are hunched forward there can be a lot of tension in the front of the neck and pecs.  When there is tension in the front of the neck and pecs, there may be pain in the upper back as it is being pulled forward and the back muscles are being stretched due to the opposite side of the body being too taut.  Occupations where this is likely include desk workers, dental hygienists, hair stylists (keep arms slightly up all day), anyone who leans forward to look through a microscope, mechanics, drivers (truck and even delivery), and attorneys who sit long hours at a desk as well.  These people also tend to get tension headaches because the neck muscles can radiate up into the head.  Getting on a regular schedule with massage can prevent more serious back issues and help decrease the frequency of headaches.  Elements offers a great Wellness Program to make regular massage accessible to everyone!

Lower back pain is seen often in jobs where someone is lifting things a lot and bending forward and back up, over and over.  This can also be true for anyone standing on their feet for long periods of the day.  The lower back muscle involved with this type of pain is the psoas muscle which originates at the anterior lumbar spine and inserts at the inside of the femur.  This muscle is in the front of our bodies and it’s action is mainly hip flexion.  So anyone bending and lifting a lot will hold tension here.  Interestingly the glutes can cause low back pain which can affect anyone on their feet or bending and lifting. Examples of some occupations include construction workers, anyone who climbs ladders, warehouse workers, stockers, mechanics, and lab assistants/scientists using a microscope.  The repetitive stress of these jobs shortens the psoas muscle.   

In some cases we see a significant difference on one side of the body such as a rotation of the spine and more tension on one side versus the other.  Occupations requiring lifting boxes on and off a truck or shelves, twisting back and forth and lifting, and sweeping/vacuuming are common culprits of lower back pain. Namely, new moms carrying a baby, and many others.  

Our jobs have a big effect on our bodies because we are doing a lot of the same actions over and over throughout the day.  Massage can help bring back balance to the body and alleviate some of this tension so more serious back problems don’t accumulate later on.  

Book you next appointment at Elements today to avoid back pain and many other issues.

 

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