Have you heard of flexion addiction? According to Dr Eric Dalton, Founder & Executive Director of the Freedom from Pain Institute, we are a ‘flexion-addicted society’. By this, he means that we have moved from being actively mobile to spending most of our time sitting at a desk, in a car, watching television, working on the computer, being on phones and so on. We spend prolonged periods with our bodies in states of flexion. Our ankles, knees and hip joints are all flexed when seated; the spinal vertebrae flex to create a forward posture whilst the shoulders become rounded giving rise to the head and neck protruding further forward.
Even an hour in this fixed flexed position causes the muscles to become tired and strained which in turn leads to muscle weakness. Normal circulation through these tissues becomes impaired and we begin to suffer the symptoms of pain and tension. Tight, tense muscles restrict a full range of movement through our joints causing stiffness and loss of flexibility. To compensate for this, the body begins to adopt alternate postures: the upper back slouches, so the shoulders become more rounded and the head and neck protrude forward, drawing the entire front of the body into a state of flexion. Stress further complicates matters, adding to the experience of muscle fatigue, tension and pain.
Here are a few tips for preventing flexion addiction:
1. Stretch! Before getting out of bed, lie on your back, inhale slowly and deeply whilst stretching your arms above your head, lengthening through the spine and the legs.
2. Make a conscious effort to stand correctly ensuring a straight vertical line between your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. You can do this while waiting for the kettle to boil or while you’re on the phone.
3. As well as standing correctly, check your sitting posture. Sit upright with both feet flat on the floor. Adjust the head so the ears are directly above the shoulders. Encourage the shoulder blades back and breathe slowly and deeply.
4. Every half an hour, get up and move! If you’re forgetful, set an alarm to remind you to move, stretch and allow the circulation to flow through your muscles and tissues and ease the tension.
5. Stretch! This time, at the end of the day. Roll around on the floor, limber up or curl into a ball and stretch out as far as you can.
All of these tips will make a huge difference to your body’s well-being. Give them a try and see how great you can feel!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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