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Shouldering the pain of business travel

Leading physiotherapist, Diane Hunter MSc BSc (Hons) MCSP, the consultant who identified a new condition known as laptop shoulder has teamed up with the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts to bring relief to business men and women of Liverpool.

Research into the condition was commissioned by the Crowne Plaza after hotel staff noticed a large number of business guests were suffering from pain in their back, neck and shoulders. It revealed that fifty-seven per cent of laptop users suffer from severe pain and discomfort while travelling on business.

The findings also show that three quarters of laptop users carry their laptop in the wrong type of bag exacerbating the symptoms. One in two laptop users are oblivious to the ways that laptop shoulder and other repetitive strain injuries can be avoided, and postural pain relieved with straightforward exercises.

Two thirds of business travellers regularly put their long-term health at risk according to Hunter who has worked directly with the Crowne Plaza to provide an exercise guide to help guests and laptop users beat the condition.

The guides provide simple exercises to carry out in the comfort of your hotel room and the Crowne Plaza Liverpool has been chosen to pilot the guides nationally. Every room will contain a guide and on busy conference days the hotel will also be offering free neck massages and exercise demonstrations for guests.

Diane Hunter, physiotherapy consultant for the Crowne Plaza commented on the condition:

"I am treating an increasing number of patients suffering from shoulder pain arising from carrying laptops. The symptoms include an aching shoulder, sometimes accompanied with neck and upper back pain. This can be a chronic and debilitating condition if left untreated.

"Treatment involves taking steps to improve posture and a simple exercise programme. Crowne Plaza staff have recognised the need for this advice and I hope this will raise awareness of the problem and encourage travellers to look after their posture."

Stephen Roberts, General Manager at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool, always interested in new ideas to boost the comfort of his guests, welcomed his hotel being chosen to pilot the scheme:

"Liverpool has become a thriving centre for business. A large number of our guests carry heavy laptops around all day and often arrive to check in complaining of shoulder or neck strain. It is essential to the Crowne Plaza that our guests feel as comfortable as possible and we believe many of our guests will benefit from these guides"

The Crowne Plaza laptop shoulder guide includes the following:

  • When you arrive in your hotel room, take ten minutes to lie on your back on the bed, allow your arms to relax by your sides and take a few deep breaths.
  • Sitting upright in the chair, stretch your arms above your head, lean back in the chair so you can stretch your upper back and take three deep breaths without allowing your head to tilt forwards or backwards.
  • Rotating your upper body in the chair, grab onto the chair and stretch round as far as you can. Do this five times to your left and five times to your right.
  • Sit upright in the chair and look straight ahead. Gently tuck in your chin and pull your head back for five seconds. Repeat this five times.
  • Sitting upright in your chair, shrug both shoulders up and back and drop them down to achieve a backwards rolling motion. Do this five times.
  • Look down at the front of your right shoulder until you feel a mild stretch in your left upper neck. Slowly and gently, repeat this to the left.

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