Do you have a desk job? That can be pretty tough on the body. Bodies are meant to move frequently, not stay in the same position for hours. Besides getting up at least hourly and setting up your worksite correctly for your body (see my blog “How to set up your workspace to prevent injury”),
There are 4 key stretches you can do to prevent tightness and pain.
1. Head Retraction – While sitting in a chair, move your head straight back without moving your chin up or down. You can place your finger on your chin to gently guide it. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat several times. You may feel a stretch anywhere from the base of the head down to the bottom of the neck. You will feel the muscles tightening under the chin and in the front of the neck.
2. Chest Stretch – Place your forearms on the the doorframe with palms facing forward. Shoulders and elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Let your chest sink through the doorway and hold for 30 seconds. Keep your head in line with your body. Slide arms up slightly and repeat. Do this until your arms are in a “Y” position.
3. Press-Ups – Lie on your stomach and put your hands in a push-up position. Press chest up while leaving hips down. Go as far as you can, then lower down. Allow your low back to sag for a few seconds when your arms are straight. Do at least 10 repetitions.
4. Standing Extensions – Stand with feet slightly apart and place hands on the small of the back with your fingertips facing inwards. Bend backwards at the belt line keeping knees straight. Hold for just a second or two and repeat at least 10 times. *Note* These stretches are for those individuals who are not experiencing neck or back pain. Do not do these exercises if they cause pain.
If you are experiencing neck or back pain, I can help! I use a combination of hands-on techniques, active movement and education that allows you to get rid of your pain and get back to living your life to the fullest.