It’s hard to know what to write today. Things sure have changed since the last article I wrote. At the time my staff and I had been going to Silver Sneakers and the senior centers in Saratoga County performing fall assessments. We had started Osteoporosis programs, hosted running workshops and had just started screening and working with local athletes. Oh yeah and we were seeing patients in the clinic.
After things started closing down and about a week of trying to get our bearings, we have settled into life online. Every PT at my office is seeing patients virtually. Starting April 13th we will be seeing patients in the clinic one-on-one...meaning one therapist on-site with one patient. We are doing this because there are people that can’t do virtual therapy due to the nature of their condition. We will be taking all the precautions possible to help keep patients and ourselves safe and healthy.
I am trying to use this time to reflect and see what was working and what wasn’t working at the office and in my life. I think this pandemic has made me realize how fortunate I am to have enjoyed such good health. After my initial disappointment from watching my business go from busy to empty, I realized that I could still help people...which was the point of getting into PT in the first place.
Then, a few days ago I was applying for the loan from the government to keep my staff employed, it is a mess for sure, but I encountered good people trying their best to help. I spoke to accountants, bank employees, bank administrators, retirees, and even my older brother that works for one of the big international banks. In every case, I encountered people that were clearly doing their best to help make a difficult time go more smoothly.
At times the efforts to help me went above and beyond expectations. Local bank officials, in the midst of the chaos around them, called me to offer help. I knew some through physical therapy and some through friends of friends. Over and over again I was offered help or names of someone to help. It helped lift a lot of the stress I was carrying and helped me reset myself and now I want to return the favor!
I would like to offer my expertise to the people working at their desks for extended hours without taking breaks in an effort to help small businesses like mine. So if you know anyone that is doing that, please thank them for me! And share the pictures below with them. And if anyone has a specific question please share my email, I’m happy to offer my help!
In the meantime, here are some thoughts.
First things first. When sitting make sure you scoot your butt all the way back in the chair and lean back against the chair. I realize that this position is difficult to get used to but sitting forward in a chair puts more strain on the lower back and neck, so whenever possible sit back!
If/when your upper back and neck tense up you will benefit from performing the retraction exercise. This is best done in a conference room chair or a waiting room chair. In other words a chair with a back that goes up to about the shoulder blades.
If you are not interested in doing any stretches then at very least, stand up every 30-45 minutes to change your position and give your spine some movement. Just because you are able to sit longer does not mean you should. I have found one of the most common problems people with back pain and neck pain face is pain with sitting.