Common Injuries our Sydney CBD Physios see…

Everyone is different, yet at Physico city Physio there certainly are common problems our Physiotherapists see.

In this chapter we visit neck and upper back pain – common injuries and how you can prevent them. A great deal of the people we see are office workers in the Sydney CBD.

Due to the nature of working conditions, the office worker is very prone to experience pain in the upper thoracic spine (the area between the shoulder blades) and cervical spine (the neck) at some time in their career.

Some simple changes to your posture and activity can be a great help.

The major contributing factors are as follows:


Extended periods of sitting at a desk.Sydney CBD Physiotherapist common problem

The human head weighs approximately 6-8kg which is around 10% of body weight. Whilst sitting at a desk with the head protruding forwards the amount of load placed through the neck and upper back will start to increase greatly and with extended period’s leads to pain and discomfort in this upper back region.

The solution is simply to sit with the head placed directly on top of the shoulders so that increased load is minimised through the neck and shoulder region. A diagram here shows a simplified way to setup the office ergonomics in order to improve sitting posture.

An open chest is also important for keeping stress and pressure from the neck and shoulders – if you can see your shoulders out of the corner of your eye – consider tucking them back slightly and lifting your sternum (breast bone) slightly to open the chest.



Stress.Posture problems sydney cbd

The workplace can at times be quite a stressful environment, be it workload, deadlines or co-workers. It is common in this situation that breathing patterns can change.

The diaphragm is a large sheet muscle which sits at the bottom of the rib cage. It is quite a large and very efficient muscle used for emptying and filling the lungs with air. In times of stress it is found that the diaphragm stops being used and instead the accessory muscles around the neck and shoulder are used to inhale and exhale. These muscles are not designed to be used in this manner and as such will become overloaded and tight leading to upper back pain.

The solution in this scenario is simply to be aware of signs of stress and realise when this breathing pattern is occurring. To help reverse this breathing pattern it is advised to take some deep breathes filling up the base of the lungs first rather than using the upper part of the chest. With a few minutes of using this diaphragm breathing technique it should allow the diaphragm to re-engage and take over the breathing pattern and reduce the load through the accessory muscles of the neck and shoulder.




Sedentary lifestyle.Physiotherapist sydney cbd

We are humans, we are designed to move. You may have heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Sitting at a desk all day does not work well for anyone. It is essential that regular light exercise is performed. Walking is great however an exercise that gets the upper body moving too is preferred; pilates/yoga/tennis/golf/swimming are good places to start with the options being endless. Also taking regular breaks at work to stretch and refresh the mind will help also.

A great little tool to keep handy is a foam roller which is ideal for a quick 2-3min stretch at work during a break, which stretches the spine into extension, working against the prolonged flexed postures adapted during the day at the desk.


Our Physios can help you with guided postural exercises and effective treatments to reduce the build up of tension often related to these common problems. Remedial Massage is also an effective solution for tension in the upper back and neck. Contact our Sydney CBD clinic for more info! 9267 3775