Have you ever stopped to think that your neck pain could be coming from looking down at your computer, tablet, or phone? Or your wrist could be sore from your cell phone? Your pain is real and could continue to worsen if you don’t change how you’re managing your time with technology!
The American Physical Therapy Association is advising people to do stretching exercises to help release some of that muscle tension & soreness.
Colleen Louw, PT, MEd says, “Sitting at a desk while using a keyboard for hours daily can result in poor circulation to joints and muscles, the stress alone that comes from working for hours without a break can cause muscle tension and pain too.”
Here are specific things you can do at your desk to undo that tension (save the lower back and hip stretches for your after-work routine)
1. Take breaks – changing posture frequently and taking breaks every hour
2. Adjust your chair – a proper chair set up can reduce tension placed in your upper back, lower back, and neck. Keep your back against the back of the chair, and make sure armrests are set at the same height as the desk so your shoulders remain in a relaxed posture
3. Stretch your wrists and fingers – try a palm up wrist stretch: with your left palm facing upward, place your right hand on the fingers of the left hand and slowly bend the wrist back until a gentle stretch is felt in the forearm (repeat on the opposite side)
4. Reset your neck position – when you’re staring at a computer screen, the tendency is to jut your jaw and neck forward and this posture places a great deal of tension on your neck muscles. To release that tension, turn your head side to side and then roll your shoulders back and down.
5. Pump your muscles – stretch out your forearms and your legs, while actively pumping first your hands, then wrists, and eventually ankles to help increase blood flow and mobilize your nerves.