One cause of chronic pain is repetitiveness. This is when you ask your body to do something for long amounts of time. I like to use a simple equation to figure out how repetitiveness affects the body.
The demand of the activity times the amount of time doing that activity equals a positive or negative change in the body.
Demand of Activity X Time Doing the Activity = Positive or Negative Impact on Body
This equation can be applied to how the muscles develop and how they move. The human body reacts to stimulus. Positive stimulus to the muscles cause the body to move properly and negative stimulus to the muscles cause the body to move improperly. Apply the amount of time doing the positive or negative stimulus can directly effect having or not having chronic pain.
Sitting is a repetitive activity. When sitting for long periods it creates muscular dysfunctions. This is where certain muscles in the body become tight and other muscles become weak. That muscular imbalance negatively affects how your joints and bones move. Then you apply the amount of time sitting which multiples the effect it has on the body.
The actual position of sitting is not bad for you. It is sitting for long amounts of time that is bad for you. The human body has the ability to sit. What happens is sitting has become predominate in the work place and we sit for hours and hours and then it becomes years and years. It is not the actual sitting that is bad but the REPETITIVENESS OF SITTING IS BAD FOR THE BODY.
But you might say, “I workout everyday.”
Working out will cancel out some of the affects of sitting but not all of them. It depends on the amount of sitting you do. If you have to work at a job where you sit for five to six hours a day and then you go workout for an hour, it is not enough. You also have to contend with the fact that you are not creating a bridge from your sitting position to your working out position. You sit all day and then you go to the gym, you are taking that sitting position into the gym. Actually reinforcing the sitting position. There needs to be a postural bridge. Exercises that focus on getting your body back to good posture, muscle balance, and joint alignment and then exercising.
Repetitiveness can also apply to people who stand for long periods such as beauticians and teachers. They are on their feet most of the day. Standing for long periods can put stress on your back and hips. A beautician or teacher who has been standing for ten years multiplies the demand on the back creating chronic pain.
We can also apply this formula to people who do one particular activity for their exercises. Often my clients who are active and they have chronic pain it comes from doing one activity too much. They find something they like to do and they think it is healthy so they do too much of it. Tennis, golf, running and cycling are a few examples that can be applied to this.
These activities are great for the body but when you over do them they can actually be negative. I have many clients who love to golf. Golf is a great sport and great activity, especially if you are walking the course. But the repetitiveness of golfing can be detrimental to your body.
All activities create stimulus to muscles. The muscles react to that stimulus. When you do the same activity over and over it creates wearing on the joints, which creates chronic pain. Same goes for tennis, running or cycling. They are all great activities but when you are only do one of those and you have been doing them for years it wears the body down.
I love the saying variety is the spice of life. I really think it applies to the human body. They key to being healthy is in the variety of your activity. Run, jump, play and do all kinds of movements, don’t get tunnel vision with that one sport or that one workout plan. Mix it up.
What if you can’t vary up your activity? You have a job that you have to sit for hours and hours a day. Or you love to bike and you don’t want to do anything else. There is a solution and that is to do exercises before that activity that will eliminate the negative effects of that repetitive activity. I call them postural exercises but they are much more than that.
You have to get specific exercises that focus on your issues that counter any negative stimulus. If you do them they will allow you to do what you love to do and allow you to do it better and you will be healthier doing them.