If you sit at a desk all day, you know how quickly neck and shoulder pain can develop. It’s hard to get any relief once it starts! So what can you do to get some relief so you can get back to work and finish that project that’s due by 5:00?
Neck Pain Relief with Exercise
One of the important things about exercises for people at the office is the ability to do it without a lot of attention drawn to yourself. Odds are you aren’t going to get up and do a bunch of exercises at your cubicle or even in your office. But if you need some relief, take a look at this video and see how it feels.
Why does it help relieve neck pain?
When a muscle is tight (such as the neck), you can do one of two things. Stretch out the tight muscle or strengthen other supporting muscles. The supporting muscles in this case are between the shoulder blades, also known as the rhomboids.
The rhomboids, when strengthened, will pull back your shoulders, stretch your chest muscles, and have you sitting up straighter. The beauty of this is that by doing that one little exercise, you activate (or turn on) the rhomboid muscle and it will cause you to sit up straight for quite a while. Odds are you will start slumping again later on, but do the exercise shown above again and re-correct your posture again. You can do it as many times as you want throughout the day.
Inevitably someone will ask if this is something they will have to do the rest of their life. And that is a great question. Let’s face it, the thought of doing some silly exercise for the rest of your life every time you sit at a desk is not the most appealing thing to think about. So I’ll share a common sense approach to this problem.
Neck Pain No More
So if simply activating your rhomboid muscles with your arms while sitting at a desk is enough to straighten out your posture, imagine what would happen if you also made those muscles stronger? The key is to build the rhomboid muscles up as much as you can so you can start making your posture easier to manage. You have to realize that you have been sitting at your desk for how many years? How many hours a day? Oh wait, now you need to factor in your posture while sitting in a car, on your couch, etc… The number of hours you sit in a bad posture position could be outstanding! So it is imperative that you take the time to strengthen muscles that have been overstretched for quite some time. In my next follow up post to this one, I will share with you the proper way to do my favorite exercise for this…the row. It’s a simple exercise, but many people do it incorrectly. The result is the neck tightens up even more, thus defeating the purpose of the exercise. Stay tuned…