Why Your Desk Job is Killing Your Tennis/Golf Game
Many of my patients love to describe themselves as people who work hard and play hard. What many of them don’t put together is one can be directly related to the other, especially those who sit at a computer for several hours at a stretch. Those marathon sessions at the office tend to manifest themselves negatively on the tennis courts, the golf course, and any sport that require a swing.
Why HR Departments “Preach” About Posture
Proper ergonomics are preached from every HR director in America. Good posture can keep you productive and out of pain while you toil at your CPU. However, just like at the gym, it’s tough to keep your form perfect for a whole day. It goes something like this:
- The eager worker with his/her head held high arrives at 9 am focused on his/her to do list.
- Same worker looks like a Cro-Magnon drawing on a cave wall by 5 pm.
How Computers Turn Us Into Cavemen
What tends to happen in front of a computer at that point, is that the head drifts forward, the shoulders hunch forward, and more weight is put on the elbows or on the mouse hand. This can cause muscles to shorten and tighten. This isn’t a great position for anyone especially if you’d like to use you upper extremities in any meaningful way when you’re out of the office.
Weekend Warriors: The Ideal World vs. The Office World
Long uninterrupted hours in front of the computer can cause a problem over time. It has to do with the nerves of your arms.
The nerves exit the spinal cord at the neck and travel through your neck muscles to your shoulders, elbow, forearms and then through your palm side of your wrist (aka carpal tunnel) and finally to your hands and fingers.
It’s Important to Know…
In an Ideal World the nerves would have plenty of room to maneuver and breathe throughout their entire commute from the neck to the fingers. But many of us have known for some time that the Office World is NOT the Ideal World. In fact the office lifestyle can be damaging to one’s tennis or golf game because it causes a decrease in a person’s range of motion. On top of this, the stroke or swing may not be as fluid, as fast, or as powerful. Chiropractic medicine is designed for restoring and increasing one’s range of motion. You may not be able to leave your job, but chiropractic options can allow you to counteract the damage your job may do to your body and your lifestyle.
Nerves interconnect our entire bodies, making their path through the spine, under muscles, and around joints. Unfortunately, the posture of our cave-dwelling predecessors can create several roadblocks, which can compress or entrap some of our nerves. This in turn causes pain, tingling or numbness.
The Solution aka Fighting the Caveman or Cavewoman Within
So what is a weekend warrior to do? The best thing to do would be to quit your job. That may not be a viable option for most people. Other options are to be as diligent on your ergonomics and posture as you are on your swing technique. Stretching throughout the workday may help undo some of the negative aspects of the human-computer interface. Getting some movement in the neck and shoulders may help remind your muscle memory of what “normal” is.
If you’re experiencing pain, your body is telling you something. Listen to it! The road to recovery is possible with the right steps. Consulting a chiropractor, who specializes in the relationship between the nerves, muscles, and joints could put you on the road to recovery. In many cases, patients see an improvement in their performance as well as a relief of their symptoms.