I’m heading back to work today.
Like millions of people across the country, this means I’ll be spending a lot of time looking at and working on a computer.
Sitting at a desk and not moving much can be a major source of neck and back pain.
Fortunately, Kit Laughlin has written a book that articulates a system to diagnose, combat and then prevent these forms of pain that cost tens of billions of dollars per year in lost worker productivity.
Overcome Neck and Back Pain is Laughlin’s engaging, accessible and practical fusion of Eastern and Western explanations of, and approaches toward, these sources of pain.
The book include photos and accompanying text that Laughlin insists are necessary to read in conjunction, his analysis of other treatments and regimens, and his description of his personal journey in this area. The stretches can be done on one’s own or with a partner in what he calls a Contract-Release method. Under this system, people do an initial stretch with a partner, release the body part being stretched, and then move deeper into it.
Overcome Neck and Back Pain asserts that many of the problems comes from an imbalance in people’s leg lengths that cause the spine, pelvis and muscles to overcompensate in one direction or another.
Laughlin opens the book by telling the read how to diagnosis one’s status, to treat the pain that one experiences, and then to take preventive and strengthening actions.
The explanations of the exercises are clear and sequential. By that I mean that Laughlin inserts an initial version of an exercise, then informs the reader at the end of the description where to go later in the book to get a more advanced version of the same exercise. He also emphasizes throughout that stretching should involve some, but not excessive, discomfort.
Overcome Neck and Back Pain also has an extremely useful illustration that identifies the many spots in our necks and backs where we carry pain and the exercises that can be used to alleviate them.
So, as I plough through emails, work to clear off my desk and start to get the next investigative project going, I’ll try to stop regularly and do some of the stretches Laughlin recommends.
I hope you do, too.