Gee, my cat has a good life. At this time of year, his favourite pastime is basking in the sunlight as
the winter sun drops lower in the sky and lights up those spots on the floor which become prime cat real estate.
Between his periods of laziness though, he does a lot. And watching him taught me plenty about
what we as humans have got wrong in our modern society.
We all know the feeling. Stuck at the desk at work, studying hard for an exam, binging on Netflix or even sitting on a plane (ha ha ha, just teasing you). The pain starts out a just a minor niggle, but
keeps getting worse the longer you stay there. And stay there, we do.
This is where cats and humans are very different. My cat would move and stretch. Limbs out, back arched, even stretching his claws. The human (well most of us anyway) would just stay there and keep working – and then complain about the pain afterwards.
Believe it or not, this is the number one problem that my patients have. Not knees injured at footy or backs hurt from lifting – it’s simply postural pain from not moving enough.
For most people, the issue affects them most in the neck and shoulders, often leading to headaches. This is a classic spot where stress manifests as well.
Some people think that assuming and holding the ‘perfect’ posture will prevent this. Sure, it may be helpful to a degree, but far more important is the need to move with regularity. When you see a cat, do you think the postures they adopt are textbook perfect postures? No way, my cat looks like a furry mess most of the time. But once he has had enough of one position, he will get up, stretch and move to a different one.
There is one time when we humans get it right – at night, when we are asleep. On average, we roll
every 20 minutes. That position that felt so perfect and comfortable has gradually become less so,
and we automatically move.
Funnily enough, as I watched my cat for a while, I noticed that he moved about every 20 minutes. Is this just a coincidence? I think probably not. I think it is nature’s timer telling us to move.
As physios, we are experts in helping people with stretching and moving. We can identify your main areas of tightness and give you some targeted exercises to help address these spots. Check out Midland Physiotherapys other socials/posts for exercise videos and if you feel that an individualised assessment could help, call us on 92741482 to make an appointment.
We would love to help.