Yikes! Ever wonder why your body feels beat-up after being in the car for too long? There’s a lot of damage that can be done from sitting too long especially on your spine. I recently experienced this a few weeks ago.
When not working at the clinic, I have an independent business where I teach learning and development classes to small and large companies. I teach 2-4 times a month and usually need to drive 2-4 hours away for each class. It’s a great side gig and I love teaching!
On top of traveling often in the month of July and August for training, we moved into a new house. My husband, Ben, and I decided to do most of the moving ourselves. For any of you that have moved, you know how much lifting is involved with getting all your furniture into a new house. Why did we do most of it ourselves? Great question. I have no idea! It’s not like we don’t have several family members or friends that live close by that could have helped us. Lesson learned.
I had been feeling pretty proud of myself for keeping up with my husband during the moving process and not getting sore from being in the car so much. In fact, I usually get adjusted every 2-3 weeks and decided I’d skip a visit since I was feeling pretty good.
Big mistake. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday and could barely move my neck. It was stiff, swollen and I felt like I had gotten run over by a truck. I tried to make it through the day and decided it was time to drive to Spencer and see Dr. Lee.
He was wonderful! Dr. Lee knows me pretty well and he could see I was struggling big time. After a very thorough visit and adjustment, he gave me some stretching exercises and other things I could do to help nurse it back to health. On Friday, I did a follow-up with Dr. Leah and was feeling much better. She used Rapid Fire on me at the end of the adjustment to relieve some of the soreness. Rapid Fire is a spray (similar to Biofreeze) made with essential oils that can be used to relieve sore muscles. It’s amazing.
What’s the lesson? If you have a job where you have to sit at a desk or you are in a car for an extended period of time, there are some ways to make sure you don’t end up feeling how I felt. I’ll share my tips I’ve learned from the doctors on how to prevent and treat yourself when you have neck pain.
- I LOVE this pillow! It’s a Sitback Rest Lumbar Support Cushion. I use it at the office and when I am driving in my car. It helps support the natural curve of the spine and honestly, I hate sitting in a chair without it. We have some at the clinic if you want to check it out.
- Get up to walk around every 10-15 minutes to counteract the effects of sitting. There are a lot of people that download an app or set a timer on their phone to remind them to move!
- A tennis or lacrosse ball is a great way to do self-massage. Dig that ball into the sore area and let it sit there for 30-45 seconds. It may hurt a little but you will start to feel some relief with repetition. If you’re curious on how to use it, stop in and we can show you!
- Slowly dangle your head from the bed. Say what? That’s right. This was one that helped me immensely. Dr. Lee shared to start at a 10 degree angle for 30-45 seconds and slowly dangle the head at a more angled degree. It helps stretch things out and relieve pain. Ignore my hand in the left photo, make sure to relax!
- See your chiropractor! If you are doing something strenuous or feel “lucky” that you are not sore, it’s still a good idea to be seen. You don’t want to feel how I felt. Trust me!
Here’s a great article about what sitting does to the body: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/05/08/sitting-too-long.aspx