Most of us are sitting at the desk, in the car, or at home in Dublin for long periods of time without really understanding how this affects our posture, its role in back pain, headaches and stress. If you sit at a desk all day, stretching is a great way to keep limber and reduce muscle soreness. It really can reduce your need to develop chronic injuries resulting in needs to see Physical Therapist.
It’s difficult to avoid using a mouse and keyboard but it’s not difficult to avoid repetitive strains if we stretched more. As a Physical Therapist in Dublin I commonly hear customers say “no, I forgot to stretch”. Even though stretching at the desk, in the car, on the couch is easy we just commonly don’t do it. As a Physical Therapist here are a few tips from me to get you into the habit:
1.When stopped at red lights or seated at the desk stretch your neck! If you want to stretch the right side of your NECK
- sit on the palm of your left hand
– relax your left shoulder
– look straight ahead (keep an eye out for that green light!)
– slowly sidebend your head, i.e bring your right ear to your right shoulder
– Hold when you feel the initial stretch, hold for a few seconds
– Advance into a further comfortable stretch, holding longer
– Keep advancing and holding gently until the lights go green!
NOTE: Do not try and over stretch at the initial attempt. Build it up allowing all connective tissue adequate time to lengthen safely.
2. SHOULDERS…roll out.
- Tense shoulders from all that typing and number crunching? Reduce your risk of rotator cuff injury by rolling your shoulders forward, up, back and down ending with the shoulders back and down. Reverse and complete in the opposite direction i.e clockwise / anti-clockwise
- CHEST…open sesame
- Use a door frame to help stretch your chest and pecs and avoid any unwanted shoulder injuries and improve posture. Here’s how:
– Lean into a door frame with your hands placed at shoulder height. Standing tall, gently push your chest forward, hold and increase the stretch by gently pushing your chest further forward and shoulder blades together. Step closer to the door frame if you feel like you will lose control or balance.
- Stretch the lower and upper fibres of your pecs by adjusting your hands placing them above shoulder level. Hold and repeat and finally repeat the process placing your hands below shoulder level.
4. LOWER BACK
– Seated with feet flat on floor, shoulder width apart, hands gently grasping below your knee – lean the upper body all the way forward.
– Without lifting your glutes from the seat stretch until your chest reaches your thighs releasing the tightness from the low back.
-For a deeper stretch, widen the legs so your chest can fit between them
5. WRISTS AND FOREARM…Say No to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
– Frequent stretch breaks will help avoid debilitating conditions such as carpal tunnel. Start by straightening the right arm and elbow.
– Clasp your right hand with the left, right palm facing downward.
– Pull the entire right hand (gently) toward you, (palm facing towards you). Hold gently for 30-60 seconds, repeat 2-3 times
– Repeat on opposite side.
– Finish by rolling the wrists several times in each direction
For further help with any of these exercises or some diagrams to assist you, please contact us at Harbour Clinic, Physical Therapy Pain Relief Centre. Harbour Clinic, Physical Therapy Clinic is located in Dun Laoghaire, South Dublin. We house some of Dublin’s leading Physical Therapist who pride themselves on helping customers get a full recovery and long-term rehabilitation.