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Improving the bottom line

IS your bottom effecting your bottom line?

Sitting on your bum for too many hours every day could be the cause of all your back pains, according to chronic pain and muscular skeletal specialist Keat Wong.

“Everything sits on the pelvis, so if the pelvis moves, the spine moves. People say they’ve got back pain and really it’s coming from the bum,” Dr Wong said.

“Why don’t they mention that they’ve got bum pain? Because it is not an acceptable thing to say my pain is in my bum.

“They always say it is my low, low back.

“But you ask them to point to where their pain is, it’s always in the bum.”

And those who sit the most, suffer the most.

“What do managers do most with their bodies – they sit on their bum,” Dr Wong said.

“Why should they get back pain when they don’t sit on their back?

“So called back pain is not really from the back. A lot of back pain actually comes from the bum.

“Our bodies weren’t meant for sitting. Our anatomies were built for walking.”

Dr Wong claims it is not a coincidence that the technological boom has brought an increase in back pain complaints.

“Why is there an epidemic of back pain, of bum pain?” asked Dr Wong.

“We’re sitting in front of computers for longer.

“The Internet is getting bigger and three hours (sitting while surfing the net) doesn’t seem that long.”

Where there’s pain there’s productivity loss.

“If you’ve got a crook neck, I don’t think you would be very efficient at work.”

“If the pain is not fixed you get very angry. Depression and anxiety follow this.

“A lot of people can’t go to work because of neck pain, migraines, headaches.”

A Subiaco chiropractor, who asked not to be named for professional, ethical reasons, agreed that sitting caused many back problems.

He said there was a greater incidence of spinally related disorders due to the sedentary nature of white-collar work.

However he maintained that it was the way we sat, rather than sitting period that effects our backs.

“Sitting at a computer and leaning into it puts great strain on the neck muscles,” he said.

“Many people also crouch or huddle over the work on their desk.

“The typical tension headache is caused by this type of strain on the neck muscles.”

And, according to the chiropractor, prevention is the only way to go.

“Going in to the gym and lifting weights for two hours after sitting incorrectly at a desk all day is not going to help you.”

As far as preventative exercises were concerned, swimming and yoga came up as the top two recommendations.

Dr Wong recommended walking.

One of the most simple and common sense ideas from the chiropractor was that of acting your age.

He said people tended to forget that they were no longer 20.

“You have to remember that you’re unable to do the things you might have done in your 30s when you were 40 or 50,” he said.

This may be one of the reasons that people in the 40-plus age group find a greater incidence of back injury.

Not enough exercise, being overweight, excessive alcohol and smoking are other factors that may put you into a high-risk group.

One sure-fire way to induce a back problem, according to the chiropractor,was hyper extending your back – bending backwards.

The chiropractor and Dr Wong were emphatic on one main point – you cannot treat the symptoms of the problem, you have to treat the cause.

“Fix the problem and then alleviate the symptoms,” the chiropractor said.

Dr Wong said: “Doctors are teachers, not healers. If a doctor doesn’t know he or she is a teacher then there’s a problem”.

“More than three quarters of the time what is shown in x-rays is not the cause of the pain.

“We are so into the science and technology of medicine we forget it is an art. You need to look, move and feel.”

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