Commuter Pain?


Packed trains cause neck pain abnd back painCommuting in London can take anything from 10 mins to up to 2 hours making it a stressful affair, not least of all on top of train delays.

Twisted Postures

With growing numbers of commuters and train services not being able to keep up, many having to stand or sit on the floor of the carriages. Therefore, if you are not one of the lucky ones and you end up standing awkwardly or sitting down in the carriage way, you may notice this is starting to take an effect on your body.

An awkward posture can result in a mixture of spinal and joint pain; commuter pain. Consequently, carrying heavy bags that aren’t supporting you correctly can result in ‘bad’ posture. This lifestyle of commuting daily is inevitable, so the real solution is how can you make the situation better and reduce the pain it might be causing you.

Reduce Your Pain

Having the ‘correct posture’ is a common topic among most. It is the subject that many people will relate the cause of pain to. However, having a ‘bad’ posture is subjective to every individual, one type of posture may not work for another. Therefore, I don’t believe in a single ‘correct posture’. It is about adapting your posture to fit YOU best, allowing changes where needed in order to improve the way your body moves.

Once the commute is over it is important to get moving again. Do some stretching once you’ve reached your destination. Here are some movements that could benefit you

  1. Side bending your neck both sides (Holding for 10-15 seconds) to increase the stretch you can place your hand underneath the opposite leg to which you are side-bending your neck away.
  2. Place your arm above your shoulders and lean your side into a wall, you can allow the leg closest to the wall to bend allowing a stretch
  3. Roll your shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  4. Pinch your shoulder blades together, holding for 5-10 seconds then releasing.
  5. Placing your chin to your chest, roll down to touch your toes. (TOP TIP: make sure you concentrate on moving each segment of the spine)
  6. Chin tucks – placing your finger on your chin, move your head backwards (this may create a double chin!)

Remember: Take your time with all of these exercises, don't rush them!

– complete with video demonstration of exercises

For further information on these exercises, head over to this page where photo demonstrations are available.

Top tips to avoid commuter pain

  • Switch around your bag – if you are resisting a backpack then change shoulder you carry your bag on
  • If possible use a style wheelie-trolley (like an airline case) rather than a bag you have to carry.
  • Take a moment to readjust your posture
  • Try and avoid long spells on your cell phone to break up the posture
  • Transfer your weight from side to side
  • Try looking over your shoulder from time to time.
  • Go on tip-toes or rock on your feet if possible to help the blood back to the heart


Jennifer Beck osteopathJennifer Beck M.OST