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Interview About Back Pain And Poor Posture, With Brian Thurston

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  • Written By: Brian Thurston
Interview About Back Pain And Poor Posture, With Brian Thurston

Do you have questions about your posture? What is causing that back and neck pain? We sat down with one of our very own personal trainers, and asked those questions. Get some answers today and learn some new tips on how to prevent these common health issues.

The Interview:

1) What kind of postural issues and pain patterns do you see with people who use a computer on a very regular basis?
We see a lot of rounded shoulders and forward head positioning. Anatomical terminology calls this upper body pronation syndrome. This pattern of gravitational pull that acts against the body contributes to kyphosis of the spine. Mostly all of these musculature imbalances lead to frequent headaches. Headaches can possibly be attributed to the position of the head (cervically extended) over a long period of time. The eyes try to look forward and create strain on the vestibular system. Additionally, pronation syndrome of the upper body contributes to lack of oxygen to the brain and does not allow for proper breathing mechanics.

2) How can a person know if the issues have become severe enough that help from a health-care provider is necessary?
If a person is experiencing chronic pain for several weeks at a time that does not go away or reoccurs frequently.

3) How are these issues typically treated or alleviated?
Advanced ergonomic environments do help, however they generally do not address the root of the problem. Individuals with these issues should seek the advice of a qualified fitness trainer that will be able to develop a program that can negate the negative forces that gravity has place on them. Finding a stretch class or yoga class that is suitable for the current level of fitness would great help restore these individuals back to optimal posture. Massage therapy is another great way to get relief from over active muscles that are a result of repetitive daily use of technological machinery.

4) What are your top tips for preventing such issues?
The best way to resolve this is to engage in a daily regimen of movement exercise that addresses the exact muscles that are weak and the exact muscles that are over used. Over time, individuals can become balanced enough to where 5-7 hours of computer time will not affect them negatively as opposed to doing nothing.

5) Are you starting to see different postural issues and pain patterns crop up as a result of the frequent use of hand-held devices such as smart phones?
Yes, a lot of tight musculature in the neck region as a result of looking down at the device. Many folks have presented with impingement scenarios in the shoulder region and this is somewhat relative to their over involvement of cell phone/computer utilization. It is not a normal/comfortable position to be in for a long period of time.

6) What are the possible physical ramifications of spending so much time staring down at our smart phones and other digital devices?
Over time, individuals will develop a multitude of ailments that may include anterior shoulder capsule stress that could lead to laborum tears.

7) How can we stave off the potential issues associated with this flexing of the head forward and looking down for prolonged periods of time?
See number 3

8) Anything else you’d like to add on the topic of technology use and postural issues / pain patterns?
Eventually, folks will develop a more balanced daily regimen of utilization that is not so overused. Ideally, check emails/Facebook/Twitter/etc….less often and become more productive at work where utilization decreases and exercise/relief management increases.

9) Please give a brief description of your own background / expertise.
Brian Thurston NASM Certified Personal Fitness Trainer at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center. I have over 25 years experience in the health and fitness field and I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Westfield State University in Massachusetts and am certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). My focus has been on gaining education in the area of joint restoration as it related to proper functional movement. Influential affiliates include The Egoscue Method, Gary Gray functional movement, Gray Cook, Paul Chek and Lenny Paracino.