By Jonathan Handel
Fall is here, and people are heading back to their regular schedules, whether that be work or school. For many, Summer with it’s time spent out of doors and active, is now being replaced by the more traditionally autumnal pursuit of sitting at a desk, and our bodies can already feel the difference.
One of the most common reasons people come see me is to manage the musculoskeletal tension and pain that comes from sitting at a desk all day. One recent study published in the journal Acta Medica Academica showed that 89% of office workers suffer from some type of MSK pain. Neck pain was the most common, affecting 69.2% of workers, followed by lower back pain at 58.2%, knee problems (41.8%), shoulder pain (35.2%) and upper back pain (34%). From my experience these findings are spot on, and I see this at the clinic every day, often with two or more of the above concerns overlapping.
Poor posture when using a computer, prolonged sitting, and generalized stress are the main culprits of these complaints. It is important to address such issues by setting up work environments in an ergonomic way, taking breaks to stretch/walk/breathe, and maintaining a balance in our lives that includes non-work activities such as exercise, socializing, and good sleep. But since we are at that desk eight hours a day (at least!), sometimes negative patterns can become entrenched, and we need some extra support to break out of it and resolve the aches and pains.
For this, you could not ask for a better tool than acupuncture!
What makes acupuncture a great therapy to manage these complaints is that it is able to not only give symptomatic relief for the tension and pain through releasing the muscles, but also help address the unhealthy patterns at the source by balancing the autonomic nervous system. This means that acupuncture can provide lasting relief. A study in the journal Pain recently showed that office workers who suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain felt the benefits for three years following a course of acupuncture treatment.
So this autumn, don’t let yourself fall into old patterns. Working at a desk doesn’t have to mean living with discomfort. Let acupuncture be your tool to prevent and manage aches, pains, and their underlying causes.
Jonathan Handel, R.Ac R.TCMP
Jonathan is a acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. He values a holistic approach, and seeks to treat the root causes of illness and provide symptomatic relief for people seeking to better their health and quality of life. As a practitioner, Jonathan seeks to create a positive healing environment, where patients can step away from their daily stresses. Through creating a safe and comfortable space, patients can look forward to coming in for treatment as an opportunity to seek relief and get the support they need.