With GCSEs, A levels and dissertations deadlines just around the corner, exam season is nearly here. But are today’s teenagers more stressed than ever before? At Luck’s Yard in Milford Surrey we thinks they are. Tone Tellefsen Hughes, Chiropractor and owner of the clinic, is providing advice and treatment for more and more teenagers who are coming up to GCSEs and A levels and need help with muscular pain in the shoulder and back – a common symptom of stress.
“Over the past twenty years, I have treated many teenagers suffering from muscular pain caused by bad posture and stress. The symptoms worsen usually around exam season and are exacerbated by long hours of revision and working at the computer on controlled assessments.
“It is important not to sit at your computer for too long but to get and stretch every 30-40 minutes or so. Use an egg timer or your mobile phone to set up a reminder for this. Alternatively you can download our clinic app called the Luck’s Yard Clinic and do our stretches in your break.”
Chiropractic treatment can be really helpful for relieving muscular symptoms relating to tension.
Her advice and treatment tips for stressed teenagers would be to:
- Make sure you have a good work station set-up for your studying.
The chair needs to be adjustable, supportive in the lower back and come under the desk, ensuring that you are encouraged to sit upright. It needs to be the right height for you. The worst study posture is when you sit hunched up in bed or on a low sofa.
- The computer screen should be in front of you and at eye level. If it is too low, put it on a box or a copy of the Yellow Pages.
- Make sure you have good lighting and use glasses if you have prescription lenses.
If you work on a lap-top, I would suggest that you get a docking station and external key-board and a mouse. These are not expensive, but will encourage a good study posture.
- It is even more important to exercise during exam periods and even a quick walk, swim or run for 30 minutes will help relax the muscles and clear the mind.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, and try using a shaped neck pillow for comfort.
- Nutritionally, it is really helpful to eat three meals a day and make sure you have a snack in between meals if you blood sugar is getting low. Choose something that will give you both protein and fats to help sustain energy eg: nuts, plain yogurt and fruit, hummous and vegetable sticks. Always have a bottle of plain water by your desk to keep you and your brain hydrated. Try to avoid caffeinated energy drinks, as they may affect your sleep patterns.
For more information check out our clinic app and Facebook page as we have several exercise podcasts which can be downloaded and used for stretches when you need a break. At Luck’s Yard we help you create a specially tailored exercise and stretch programmes which can help to strengthen your posture and core stability.