Stretching is a natural activity that often occurs instinctively, e.g. when we first wake up in the morning or after a long period of inactivity. We’ve all heard about the importance of stretching before and after exercise, to avoid injury. However, with the increasingly sedentary lifestyles we lead, I believe stretching has a place in everyday life to try and avoid the build up of muscle knots or trigger points.
I was delighted to see that BackCare, The Charity for Back and Neck Pain, chose to publicise one of my pet subjects for their Awareness Week this year – the sedentary lifestyle of office workers and the damaging health issues relating to this.
With our busy modern lives and overflowing schedules, sleep never seems to appear on the ‘to do’ list but rejuvenating sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Our bodies and minds need the time to relax and repair tissues, process the day, calm our mood, balance hormones and boost our immune system. Without it we are far more vulnerable to developing physical or mental illnesses.
A surprisingly large number of the people that I see think it is normal to have headaches regularly and that they are just part of everyday life. However, there is often no need to suffer like this.
I have now been practising as an osteopath for over 20 years and am horrified at the number of patients I treat with issues related to a sedentary lifestyle. With the fast advances in modern technology, those that are office based seem to have less and less reason to get up from their desk or be out and about from the office.