During the last post I looked at some of the problems that develop in association with poor desk ergonomics and unsuitable posture at the computer. http://www.west4thphysio.com/archives/1751
I promised a few exercises that can help alleviate the symptoms of upper back and neck tightness after a long session stuck at the desk. Overall strengthening of the upper back also helps reduce symptoms by allowing you to keep a more upright and open chest position.
- First up is the Cobra as pictured above. This helps restore spinal length and alignment. If off the floor is too difficult try having your hands at the edge of the desk or kitchen counter. Remember to exhale as you lift the chest and extend the arms. Emptying the lungs allows a little more stretch effort to be gained.
- Next up is the spinal and chest stretch gained by using the exercise ball.
Again, exhaling and allowing the arms to fall back overhead will deepen the stretch. You should not experience any pain in the shoulders or any hand numbness. If you do, it usually signals some muscle imbalance and tightness that your physiotherapist can help with.
- Lastly today, try using a yoga move called Downward dog.
For some people the on the floor version is too difficult so try placing your hands on a table top or counter as a starter position. Again, if you want to deepen the stretch and gain a little more flexibility,remember to exhale as you let your chest drop forwards.
Of course lots of other exercises can help but I have had excellent results with these three as basic openers of the tight chest, ribs and shoulders. Do them gently for a few minutes in the evening about three times a week. Next post I’ll include some strength exercises to help improve posture in the upper back.
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