How posture can screw up S&S progress.

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Jan, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    Three weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea of lowering my pc screen and moving it back to the edge of the table to create more workspace in front of me. As a result, I had to stretch my arms a bit more to type decently. The week after, I started having pain in the area of the left scapula, with pain radiation down my left arm to about my elbow. Swings did not exactly make it any better. Went to see the doctor who diagnosed a slight hernia of one of the upper thoracic vertebrae. Painkillers and, if it did not improve, kinesitherapy. Last Friday I went to see a kinesitherapist, who also happened to be a sports kinesitherapist. After examining, he did not believe the pain to be from a hernia in the upper thoracic spine. The symptoms, pain radiating to elbow, were, according to him, not consistent with a hernia at that spot. He believed the pain is caused by a stretched nerve, caused by a poor sitting posture. He knew kettlebells, and adviced not to do swings, because of the forward pull of the bell, even with descent shoulder packing. Snatches, TGU, C&P no problem, I can still do those
    So I started this week with a mofified S&S (I know I shouldn't): 5x(6+6) snatches with 20kg and TGU with the 24kg bell. See how that works out.
    Another setback at getting to Simple :(
    Steve Freides likes this.
  2. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Strong Member of the Forum

    Stay your current course. Your long-term health is more important than short-term gains..
    offwidth, Jan and King Cobra Fit like this.
  3. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Much of the advise I've read suggests keeping the keyboard as close to your torso as possible. That way you're not reaching for the keyboard and causing your shoulders to slouch forward.
  4. Bauer

    Bauer Double-Digit Post Count

    Some months ago I read "Deskbound" by Kelly Starrett. It made me transition to a standing desk and it made me elevate my notebook (with an external keyboard and a mouse). This has really helped with some chronic issues (headaches, tight shoulders, etc.). Some years ago I had a bursitis in my right shoulder due to a bad keyboard posture (I had to reach too far out for the mouse). The book can be a game changer!

    Two key cues: Elbows should be at your site and bent at about 90°. The top of your screen should be at eye level, about an arm length away - more or less. This holds true for both standing and sitting work stations.

    Moreover Kelly Starrett advises you to take a short movement break every 20-30 minutes (e. g. 2 minutes of walking, KB pressing, squatting, stretching, fast-and-loose...). GTG, Relax into stretch and Super Joints would suit this really well. And he advocates a 10-15 minute prehab/mobility session every night.

    Good luck with your rehab!
  5. Oscar

    Oscar Strong Member of the Forum

    @Jan good luck with your recovery, hopefully it will be fast. Good thing you can do snatches, at least they are fun and you are not losing the conditioning aspect of S&S.

    @Bauer I´ve been thinking on changing to a standing desk for a while. Sounds like a great idea. So you´ve had good experience with it?
  6. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    +1 for standing desks. The company where I had my internship last fall has a standing desk policy. Feels really good to work with.
    Oscar likes this.
  7. rickyw

    rickyw Strong Member of the Forum

    Thoracic nerve roots do not travel down the arm, with the exception of T1, so very unlikely that it is thoracic disc herniation (but as Kevin Garnett says, "anything is possible!!"). Only the nerves that branch off the brachial plexus travel down the arm, and these stem from the C5-T1 nerve roots. If the pain are due to a "stretched nerve" or even a herniation this would likely be easily provoked during physical examination by a few simple tests.

    A couple of things to consider as well: 1) active trigger point referral pattern of the infraspinatus. I see this a lot with desk jockeys who reach out in front of them at the computer all day. The infraspinatus has to fire to stabilize the head of your humerus in the glenoid and it gets overworked when we reach out in front of us so much. It's a grand old time inactivating those trigger points with a dry needle, but specific massage techniques work nicely as well 2) or motion restriction at a rib (aka somatic dysfunction of a rib) which activates trigger points of the serratus posterior superior. There are other possibilities as well but these two, especially the first, are very common with desk workers.

    As others have mentioned, you may try raising your screen up to eye level to alleviate strain on the neck as well as bringing your keyboard down and closer to you so you can sit comfortably with shoulders situated back and down and with elbows closer to your sides, which will alleviate strain on the posterior rotator cuff, rhomboids, and ribs.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
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  8. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    That is what the kine adviced as well. I already moved the keybord closer.

    I think I would get funny looks if I did that at work :) Although my colleagues know I am working with kettlebells. The prehab / mobility session is something I must start again.

    Thanks Oscar :)

    @rickyw : I have been thinking about doing an online trigger point therapy course. Regarding motion restriction at a rib, the kine did tell me that my left small pectoral muscle is tight. This could perhaps restrict rib mobility.
    Oscar likes this.
  9. rickyw

    rickyw Strong Member of the Forum

    @Jan , pec minor hypertonicity will restrict rib exhalation but really that would be more of a muscle problem affecting a group of ribs (since pec minor attaches to ribs 3-5) and more so anteriorly as well. Somatic dysfunction of a rib joint at the thoracic spine is more what I was referring to. If your elbow pain is on the inside perhaps pec minor is a contributor, but pec minor does not cause pain at the posterior scapula, nor is it working hard when you are slouched forward at your desk, so I doubt that is your pain generator though it certainly should be treated as well.
  10. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Probably... but they are also most likely envious of your dedication to fitness
    damogari likes this.
  11. Bauer

    Bauer Double-Digit Post Count

    Yes, but only after I've read Kelly Starrett's tips. It's crucial that you learn good posture first (in line with StrongFirst: Glutes contracted, head like a crown, etc.) and that the keyboard and screen are placed at the right height. Otherwise you'll spend too much time in another weird position. Also, you have to be careful to transition slowly. Like 2x 30 minutes per day.

    I have found that standing helps to stay focused and fresh. I am not as tired at the end of my work day when I have been standing. Also I feel much better physically.

    Btw: I don't have any fancy standing desk equipment. I just put some boxes on top of each other on my regular table to elevate my screen and keyboard. Works like a charm. The only problem is that in the morning I often don't feel like standing and I don't set it up. It's just my tired shortsighted mind.. :D

    @Jan : Yeah, that's always an issue. Although stuff like that will set an example and change culture. And I guess it's ok to be weird, people just have to get used to it.
    Oscar likes this.
  12. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    What, Belgians? I don't think so :)
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    We ought to mention there are alternatives to sitting poorly and standing - sit better. Focus on having a firm, non-rolling chair that you can sit at the front edge of, feet tucked underneath you or flat in front of you. If you don't treat the back of your chair as mould into which you pour your limp spine, sitting won't be as bad for you. And whatever your chair, if you use a lumbar support to correct your passive posture, you'll also be much better off.

    GeoffreyLevens likes this.
  14. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Considering Belgium's Minister of Health you might be right.

    Sorry, couldn't resist posting that :oops:
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  15. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Seriously? She is Belgium's Minister of Health?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  16. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor


    Belgium's Minister of Health

    and you'll have your answer.

  17. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Pretty astonishing. Of course, many people, both in government and elsewhere, have deficiencies in personality, morals, or intellect that make them ill-suited to their jobs, but it's harder to see the conflict with some of them than it is with Ms. De Block.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  18. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    Yes, and to think that she's an MD!
  19. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    I tend to sit at the front of the chair at work, or even at home, when I have to do computer work. We used to have wooden high stools in the lab in the earlier days (20 odd years ago), and they were perfect for sitting on. With the introduction of so-called ergonomic chairs, sitting posture with most people just went down-hill. Only problem in our company is, that we have to get the chairs via the safety and health department, and guess what chairs they promote?
    rickyw and Steve Freides like this.
  20. TravisS

    TravisS Helping Make Others Stronger

    I have had a stand up desk at work for nearly a year. I've read deskbound and abide by many of Kelly's principles mentioned in the book. I too find myself less fatigued at the end of the day just by being able to change position and move around throughout the day. I do try to sit down and relax over my lunch hour but other than that I stand all day and I love it. Once you get used to it, you really don't notice it anymore.
    Tobias Wissmueller, Bauer and Oscar like this.

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