Sitting for long periods of time in one position or keeping your head/neck in static position can cause stress on the Head & Neck and make you vulnerable for injury. Especially if you’re looking up or sideways for long periods of time. Improper ergonomics in the workplace can also cause unnecessary stress on your head and neck and make you vulnerable for injury.
The most common and overlooked cause of head and neck injury is having an improper bed and pillow. Most people spend 1/3 of their lives in bed. For long periods of time each day, people will put their heads and necks on a pillow that is NOT right for their necks and lay in a bed that offers little to no support for the spine. Sleeping in this improper position puts stress on their neck. They might not feel it at that moment, but eventually it causes wear and tear and makes them more vulnerable to injury.
The abdominal and low back together (core) are the foundation of your spine. Your head and neck are part of the spine and if your core is not strong, then stress will travel through up the spine to your head and neck and make you vulnerable to injury.
Prolonged sitting is the #1 worst thing for your lower back. Prolonged sitting will put a lot of pressure on your back, regardless of if you’re sitting in a supported or non-supported chair. The pressure can gradually wear down your spine, causing pain. If you sit for long periods of time and you have weak muscles, everyday activities such as; getting groceries out of the car can cause injury.
Stress is the worst thing for your muscles. Stress weakens the muscles and causes nervous system responses that can dehydrate the discs in your spine. Weak muscles and dehydrated discs in your spine can make you vulnerable to injury. Even small activities such as tying your shoes or bending over can cause injury.
If you are excessively gripping like in golf or tennis with impact, the elbow could be injured from repetitive stress. The junction where the tendon and muscles join at the elbow is not that strong and if you have repetitive trauma that part will start to strain overtime. Also, if you happen to fall on your hand or wrist, the elbow will absorb most of the force. Depending on how hard the impact, you can cause injury to the elbow.
Not being active enough can cause the Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Calf’s to get weak. When those muscles get weak, then the knee joint absorbs more force. These additional forces will cause negative stresses on the knee. As the joint stresses, it breaks down. This can be a cause of early Arthritis. Also, there is more stress on the ligaments, which can cause tears.
Another cause of pain is imbalanced muscles surrounding the knee. For example, the Quadriceps could be overly strong and the Hamstrings are not as strong. This will impose uneven forces to the knee due to the poor muscle balances, ultimately causing early joint break down. Just like if you had a car that was out of alignment, eventually something would wear down and break. Imbalanced muscles can be caused by stagnant lifestyle, poor or lack of warm up/cool down prior to exercise, poor rehabilitation after injury and improper exercise.
Contrary to what most people believe, a majority of the Ankle and Foot problems come from imbalances in the low Back, Hip or Knee. As a result, they get excessive forces put onto the Ankle and Foot.
Excessive force put onto the Ankle or Foot can cause hairline or other fractures. There are a lot of bones, joints and ligaments in the foot. So with excessive force trauma such as motorcycle accidents and landing wrong from a jump, it is easy for those structures in the foot to get strained or fractured. It is common to see people breaking bones in the foot such as the Tibia and Fibula.
A lot of people do not wear the proper shoes for their feet. So over time there can be gradual wear and tear on the Ankle and Foot. A lot of shoes in our society are unhealthy and so wearing the wrong type of shoes can cause problems overtime and increase your risk of spraining your ankle. Some women have problems in their toes because they wear and walk in shoes that are too small. They may get a blister once in a while and they’ll think they need to get the blister better. What most do not realize is that wearing small shoes is changing the mechanics of their feet and causing wear and tear on the joints. If you are getting soreness in your feet, don’t brush it off and say “My feet are tired”, because it may be causing undue stress to the ligaments and joints which will cause pain and problems down the road.
Any form of direct trauma such as hitting the ground on your golf swing can cause injury to the wrist and hand. Improper hitting or punching techniques can cause wrist/hand injuries and possibly hairline fractures.
The most common cause of pain in wrist and hand is the position of your neck. The nerves that power your hand come from your neck. When sitting doing computer work, your neck may be in an improper position and this may compromise those nerves. When those nerves are compromised, you may experience traveling pain in your hands as well as put your hands vulnerable to repetitive stress injury.
In most people their hip muscles are imbalanced. Because we sit a lot the Gluteus muscles (Butt muscles) are very weak while the muscles in the front of your hip are very tight. Again, if your muscles are not aligned properly, something will break down. Most people think that because they can walk fine they are alright. Overtime the wear and tear can cause early arthritis in the hip and that’s why there are so many hip replacements in seniors. Exercises for balancing hip muscles are not common knowledge. You cannot see a physical trainer at your local gym to balance your hip muscles. The exercises are unconventional so most people do not know to do them.
More often than not, pain in your hips can easily be misdiagnosed. The pain may actually be coming from your lower back as radiating pain. Since the nerves that control the legs start from the lower back, compromised nerves can cause pain in the hip. Just like if you were having heart problems, you’ll feel the pain in your arms.
The shoulder blades are the foundation of the shoulder. If the muscles around the shoulder blades get weak, it will not take much to cause an injury when doing repetitive movements especially overhead movements. Not taking the necessary breaks while making repetitive movements can lead to added stress on the shoulder and cause painful injuries.
Make sure you strengthen your shoulder muscles to avoid injury. When most people exercise, they don’t think to do shoulder specific exercises. They feel that they are strong because they do bench press or squats. However, if they are not doing Rotator Cuff specific exercises, then they are not properly strengthening the shoulder. It is important to properly ice and control inflammation after strenuous activity, if not; the uncontrolled inflammation can weaken tendons and muscles eventually making your shoulder vulnerable to injury.