Your neck pain may be related to overuse of technology or simply office related postural imbalances. These five exercises are a great way to start balancing out your muscles to relieve pain, NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED!
This exercise is probably the most important of the group. The pec muscle pulls the shoulders forward and down. This exercise is intended to relax and lengthen the over active pectoral muscles. The pec muscle is strong and will need to be relaxed before the rest of these exercises can compete with the pecs. This is one of the exercises for neck pain that can be done anywhere.
“without relaxing this muscle, all other exercises won’t be able to overcome the tight pecs.”
Otherwise known as the ‘doorway stretch’, this stretch is easiest to perform in a doorway, but any wall or stationary object will do. Place your elbow on the doorway even with your shoulder, and place your hand on the door frame above your elbow. Both you arm and forearm should be at 90 degrees. Slowly lean forward and turn away from your arm and you will feel a stretch in your chest.
This exercise is designed to get the shoulders back into proper position. Position yourself against a wall with your feet away from the wall slightly to pin your butt against the wall.
First, place your arms out to the side with your hands above the elbows. Make sure to keep the backs of your hands and elbows against the wall. Then, slide your arms up the wall as far as you can go while maintaining contact with the wall. Finally, bring your arms down toward your side as far as you can go while maintaining contact. This movement should be done 10 times in slow smooth pattern. Go slow and steady and keep your elbows and hands in contact with the wall.
T, I, Y Exercises
These exercises are also designed to strengthen muscles that hold your shoulder blade in its proper position. These muscles are quite small, so you do not need a lot of weight to work them out. For this exercise, I like using water bottles for the weight, so you can add or remove water as needed.
These exercises can be done by laying your chest on the floor, stool, ottoman, or my favorite, an exercise ball. Holding your weights with your thumb positioned toward the ceiling. Using water bottles without the caps, will help you keep the thumbs in the right position. Then position your arms to make a “T”, an “I”, or a “Y”, and raise your hands toward the ceiling. During each of these exercises you should be squeezing your shoulder blades together and imagine pinching something in between them. You should attempt 10 reps of each position, and remember to start with a very small weight at first.
The upper trapezius is a major generator of pain for office posture. The trapezius also has most common trigger point in the body. This is one of the exercises for neck pain that can be done right at your desk.
Start by placing one hand under your butt to secure your arm down. Then with your other hand, reach up and place it on top of your head. First, slowly pull your ear to your shoulder. Next, tilt your head forward with your chin toward your chest. Finally, turn your head to look up toward the ceiling. Getting to the correct position through the steps above put the least amount of stress on the spine. Hold this position for 3 reps of 10 seconds and alternate sides.
This exercise is designed to strengthen the weakened neck flexor muscles. This exercise can be done sitting, standing, or even laying down.
Place two fingers on your chin and use them to direct your chin backward. Your fingers should not be pushing your neck backwards, but rather used as a guide. You may feel some pulling at the base of your skull, this is normal for those muscles. These are the suboccipital muscles and they tend to be tight with forward head carriage. Hold this position for 3 reps of 10 seconds and repeat several times a day.
Schedule an appointment for more help on these exercises for neck pain. You can also invite Dr. Eric to your office for an ergonomics demonstration for your staff to prevent these issues.
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