Been working a lot lately and immersed in your computer? You’re not alone. Whether your working from home or in the office setting, one thing is the same- we all experience stress and it translates to a stiff neck and upper back. For this article, we will be showing you some easy-to-do stretches that you can do even if you’re in front of your computer.
Remember that these stretches are just the most common ones out there, and your routine will solely depend on your other health factors.
Also known as the “Turning Side to Side” movement. When you stretch and have a stiff neck at the moment, you might feel challenged but trust me, it is recommended to rotate the neck. However, rotate the neck partway if you feel that it’s increasing the pain rather than decreasing it.
To do this:
Keep your straight back and shoulders
Then, turn your head to the left as far as it can naturally go but again, without pain
Once you’ve reached the limit, hold that position for 5 seconds and bring it back slowly in your neutral position.
Do the same on the other side. Repeat the steps 5 times on each side.,
Lateral Neck Flexion
Familiarly known as “Bending Side to Side”. Like all the stretches, it loosens up tight muscles, relieves pain, and reduces spinal pressure. Expect that when you do this stretch, your head bending toward the left shoulder, the stretch is felt along the right side of your neck.
Slowly bend your head to one side by bringing your left ear toward the left shoulder. During this stretch, your shoulders and back should remain still while your neck flexes laterally to the side.
Once your head has flexed as far as it can comfortably go to the side, try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head slowly to the neutral position.
Repeated the stretch in the opposite direction.
This is also called your Backward Bending. During a neck extension exercise, the stretch is felt along the front of the neck through the throat. The muscles working at the back of the neck may also be felt, from the base of the skull all the way down to the upper back.
Gently extend the neck by looking upward and bringing the head backward while keeping the shoulders and back stationary.
Once the head has gone back as far as it can go without increasing pain, try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head to the neutral (starting) position.
Aside from these common stretches, your Physical Therapist may also advise you to:
Stop and rest the painful area by keeping away from activities that worsen your pain in the neck.
Apply an ice pack or moist heat to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every 2 hours.
Stay active and avoid staying in bed for long periods of time, go for walks (that means going away from your computers even for several times a day- say 15 minutes of walking would do good for you)
Follow your prescribed treatment plan, adding or increasing your treatment will till depend on your Physical Therapist. Oh, and instead of sitting on couches and those easy chairs we love so much, Physical therapists highly advise that you sit on firm chairs.