Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sitting in Front of the Computer is Literally Killing Us!

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My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”.

Did you know that sitting in front of a Computer for long periods of time is literally killing us?
We are starting to understand more that living a sedentary life like sitting for long periods of time in an office chair for 8 hours a day can’t be good for our bodies. Our bodies will function better when it is moving and if we are sitting all the time this will add up over time. Studies have shown that people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of heart disease as those who stand for a living.
So, what do we do? Simple get up and move around every 30 – 60 minutes. If you're sitting in front of your workstation for hours at a time, tension tends to build up in the neck, upper back, and the lower back and this will create problems. So, if you think about that over a cumulative period of time, you can develop neck and back pain and you may have to see someone like myself.

So, to avoid this problem let’s do a couple of simple stretches, however we will need a reminder to get us to get up and move. Go to the App store and download this free App called “Hourly Chime”. You can schedule the chime to go off every 30 – 60 minutes. Get up and go to the restroom, go to the copier machine, just get up and do something.

Here are the stretches you can do, stand up and stretch to the ceiling, lean to the left and then to the right, shrug your shrugs and this will engage your upper back muscles. Rotate and twist your body back and forth, rotate your head in circles and look to your left and right. The next thing you do are some lunges with your arm reaching forward and the other reaching backwards and you switch back and forth. And then you can walk in place.

You just want to get your body pumping with some blood to your muscles so get some stretching in every 30-60 minutes so your muscles don't tighten and shorten because of the length of time you're in front of the computer.

This is a really simple process that you can do every hour when you're at your workstation. So we hope this helps and that you can do this at home or at your work. Until next time, thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Your Computer Mouse Can Give You Neck Pain!

My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”.

A real common problem in our society right now is the use of the computer mouse. Everyone uses the computer mouse and if used improperly, it can create issues in our neck and upper back. While on the computer using the mouse, typically our elbows are away from our body, and if we are in this position for a long period of time, it can tighten up and cramp up a muscle in the neck area, we call the trapezius muscle. This muscle is going to get tired and become fatigued, and cramp up. If our elbow is closer to our body, then the trapezius muscle most likely is not going to get tired and fatigued, because the muscle is not contracting. The muscle has to contract and is being pulled when the arm is extended outward. When our elbow is near our body, then the trapezius muscle doesn't have to contract and pull and it won't become fatigued.

For an example here, you can try this at home, put your left hand on top of the right trapezius muscle and move your arm up and down and feel the muscle contracting underneath your left hand.

Now try doing the same motion while you keep your elbow close to your body and see if you can feel the muscle contracting, because you shouldn’t. By doing this demonstration you will get a sense of how this muscle basically works when using the computer mouse. Our elbow away from our body is not good and our elbow close to our body is good.

The tip is this: Keep your mouse closest to your body. Therefore, when you're sitting there for hours at a time working on your computer, you won't get so tired and fatigued on the upper trapezius area.

We'll see you next time.