Dr Susan Baxter
7 injury mistakes that you are making daily
Updated: Mar 2
These are all things that can contribute to imbalance through uneven stress on the body. Identifying the issues is part of making a positive change. Overuse of muscles can cause for these to become stressed and strained whilst other weaker underused muscles to become even weaker. As a result, we try to overcompensate in compromised movement patterns. These motor patterns become trained in the brain and perpetuate further.
1. Holding your phone with your neck: Cradling your phone between your shoulder and neck might free up your arms for other activities, but research from the USA has found considerable risk placed on health as a result of this very practice. Think of the major arteries and veins that link to your brain that you could be compromising. Consider instead speakerphone (when in private or using headsets).
2. Holding your phone at waist level: You might be holding your phone under the table or double screening when watching tv. Regardless of the situation you might be creating undue strain in your neck. Aim to hold the phone at a higher level, and take breaks frequently. Try also checking longer tasks, like email, on a larger screen. 3. Sleeping exactly the same position on one side every night: Isn’t it strange how we gradually acclimatize to being on one side rather than another each night? You can change this, and it will make for a more restful night's sleep as well as reduce the imbalances incurred from one-sided positions. 4. Crossing your legs with the same leg on top: One leg gets tighter on the hip, the other gets a stretch. Over time that might mean discomfort when sitting, and eventually you might even find that your unique walking pattern and movement pattern becomes changed. Try alternating the leg on top and take frequent walking/ stretching breaks. 5. Carrying your bag/ holding things/ walking up the stairs with the same side each time: Notice which is your dominant leg and take time to change it up. Use two straps on bags to create a more even load (or consider clearing out your handbag to make it lighter). Dare I also suggest that you consider taking more trips with your groceries from the car too? The extra challenge of brushing ones hair or teeth with the other side is also a great brain workout too for creating new motor patterns. 6. Putting all your weight on one side/ locking out your legs: Often it is habit to rest forearms on surfaces when tired or to favour the stronger side to place all of the weight onto. This magnifies the imbalance as it does not allow the unstable less dominant side to be practiced on. Either shift the weight for the challenge or stand up tall! Focus instead on feet hip width apart and keeping knees slightly soft. Softening the knees also allows for improved circulation to the lower extremities and to keep the joints in other areas such as your hips and ankles in a more neutral position. 7. Driving or sitting for long periods: Make sure that you are mindful to keep your pelvis in alignment. This requires in a car for you to prop your left food on the rubber rest part. When the feet are in a split stance, you tend to be leaning more on one hip than another… that spells misalignment.
It might be unrealistic to expect to be able to be completely balanced all of the time, and whilst we all have unique movement patterns, these steps can help you to prevent injuries or nagging pains and irritations. Reducing how often you do these can help alleviate common niggles and nagging injuries. If in doubt, however, do make time to see a physiotherapist who can assist in the monitoring and rehabilitation of any nagging pains or injuries. You can also check my post on what to do when you get injured and don't hesitate to reach out if you have anything on your mind.
If you like what you read, I do have a series of Ebooks you can find here. i have designed these to inform and educate with real no-nonsense information about how to live a sustainably healthy life long term. It is the tool kit and knowledge that you need to make your own informed decisions for long-term health. Thank you for reading.