Preventing Back and Neck Pain without Leaving the Office
Few people would consider their desk job “dangerous,” but painful work-related conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, back and neck pain, are real possibilities. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to prevent these problems, and you don’t even have to leave your office!
If you sit at a desk more than an hour a day, take periodic breaks. Get up and walk around. You need to change position and stretch to prevent problems from occurring. Below are a few simple stretches that you can perform in your office to relieve tension and stress.
Note: If you have neck or upper back pain, you should consult your physician or a physical therapist before doing these exercises. The exercises below are intended for healthy individuals who want to avoid a build up of muscle tension as a result of prolonged time sitting in one place.
|Upper Trapezius Stretch
Gently grasp the right side of your head while reaching behind back your with the other hand. Tilt head away until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 30 seconds. Reverse and repeat exercise with other hand. Repeat the exercise three times per set. Do one set per session.
|Strengthening: Shoulder Shrug
Shrug shoulders up and down, forward and backward. Repeat 30 times per set. Do one set per session.
|Lower Cervical / Upper Thoracic Stretch
Clasp hands together in front with arms extended. Gently pull shoulder blades apart and bend head forward. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise three times per set. Do one set per session.
|Scapular Retraction (Standing)
With arms at sides, pinch shoulder blades together. Hold the contraction for five seconds. Repeat the exercise 15 times per set. Do two sets per session.
|Wrist Flexor Stretch
Keeping elbow straight, grasp left hand and slowly bend wrist back until stretch is felt. Hold 30 seconds. Relax. Reverse and repeat exercise with other hand. Repeat the exercise three times per set. Do one set per session.
Photo credit: VHI