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Dr Gary Tho
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Dr Gary Tho is the owner of Chiropractic Works, a Family Sports and Wellness clinic in Orchard and Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. He specialises in pain relief and high performance for individuals and organisations. He believes being be your best self requires a strong Mind, Body and Tribe.

Dr Gary is also the author of The Pain-Free Desk Warrior, Free yourself from aches and pains which is the definitive guide for those stuck at their desk for more than 2 hours a day.

Chiropractic Works

August 22, 2017

Business Trips Don't Have to be a Pain in the Neck!

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I've noticed that many of my clients drop by my clinic several days before their business trips. The reason? To get themselves in the best shape possible, so that their flight doesn’t ruin their trip. There’s nothing worse than being cramped up on a plane for hours, dehydrated, tired, not fed well and feeling your whole body stiff and achy - and then having to sit through day after day of meetings and dinners.

Besides getting a chiropractic adjustment before you leave, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your next business trip is a pleasure - even if you do lose valuable inches of leg room from the reclined chair in front of you! Here’s 7 quick fixes for pain-free travel.

1.  Support your back

Instead of sitting on the front half of the seat and slouching back, sit with your bottom all the way back into the chair. Placing a small pillow, or tightly rolled piece of clothing in the small of your back will help keep the natural arch in your back, reducing strain on your muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves.

2.  Stretch your hips

This is an amazing stretch for those with back pain! It relieves stress and tension in the back and hips, and great for those with restless legs. Cross your right leg over the left, by placing your right ankle on your left knee. Next, sit upright, pull the right knee toward your opposite shoulder and slowly lean forward. Enjoy the right hip stretch for 20-30 seconds, and repeat on the left.

3.  Stand up and walk

If you have great abdominal muscle control do seated pelvic tilts. If you don’t know what they are, simply get off your butt and walk around. It’s one of the easiest ways to help alleviate a bad back or neck. It does mean you need to peel your eyes off the screen for 5 minutes, however, 5 minutes of standing and walking will help you sit comfortably through another 30 minutes of your movie.

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4.  Chest stretch

Stretching your chest and shoulders is a great way to alleviate headaches, neck, shoulder, upper back and chest discomfort. If you do it right, you shouldn’t annoy your neighbour. In fact they may ask you to teach them! To stretch your chest, sit on the front half of your seat. Next, interlace you fingers behind your back. Roll your shoulders back and down, pressing your hands down towards the floor while lifting your chest at the front. Keep squeezing your shoulder blades and open the chest while you hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

5.  Neck stretch

Relieving neck and shoulder aches on a flight is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1: Tilt your head to the right side, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder.

Step 2: Slowly tilt your head down forwards, bringing your chin to your chest. (Remember to keep your right ear towards your shoulder.)

Step 3: Slowly come back up to the starting position and repeat on the left side. 

6.  Throw away your neck pillow

Forward head posture is commonly adopted while using smartphones, tablets and laptops. It strains the neck muscles, compresses the discs and wears out the joints in your neck. For some reason, the shape of the seats on a plane push our head forward. We end up sitting in a curled ‘foetal position’, with our back rounded, and head sticking forward. Most neck pillow’s are thick, which exacerbates this forward head position. So the remedy: throw away your neck pillow. Instead try a “Chin tuck”. Simply sit tall and try to pull your head up and backwards into the head rest. Your chin will move down and ‘in’ towards your throat (essentially giving you a double chin!) This reverses forward head posture by strengthening your deep neck muscles and stretching the tight aching muscles at the back of the neck.

7.  Get Adjusted

Most people who suffer from neck or back pain during travel are likely to have a history of a bad neck or bad back. If you do, instead of trying to alleviate pain once it’s surfaced, it’s much easier to fix it first. Stretching or massages are great to relieve muscle tension, but may not fix your back pain. This is because there’s more pain-causing body parts than just muscles. Getting adjusted by a qualified health care professional restores natural position, stability and mobility of your spinal bones and joints, thereby reducing stress and tension on muscles and ligaments and decompressing discs and nerves. When you’re well adjusted, your body can cope and adapt to all sorts of stress easier, which includes being able to sit for extended periods of time without feeling pain.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Gary Tho is the owner of Chiropractic Works, a Family Sports and Wellness clinic in Orchard and Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. He specialises in pain relief and high performance for individuals and organisations. He believes being be your best self requires a strong Mind, Body and Tribe.

Dr Gary is also the author of The Pain-Free Desk Warrior, Free yourself from aches and pains which is the definitive guide for those stuck at their desk for more than 2 hours a day.

Visit his author bio page to connect with his social profiles.

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