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Keeping the shoulders, neck and upper back mobile when you're WFH

Today's blog post is for all of you that are currently working from home due to self isolating and social distancing during the coronavirus/ covid 19 pandemic. I'll be going over some strength exercises going forward but right now, let's focus on a few simple exercises you can do to help with shoulders, neck or upper back tension you may be feeling from working at an unusual set up at home.

1) Anterior scalenes stretch - the scalene muscles are respiratory muscles, they get tight when we over recruit them for breathing e.g. if we're stressed or with conditions such as asthma. They also get tight from not ideal neck positioning for long periods of time e.g. when we are sitting at the laptop or computer. Once these muscles are tight, they can contribute to issues such as neck pain, certain types of headaches, TMJ disorders and thoracic outlet syndrome.

2) Mid scalenes stretch

3) Levator scapula stretch - this muscle elevates the shoulder blade, and is often tight when someone is more desk based. It can contribute to lower and upper neck pain, shoulder pain and upper back stiffness.

4) Pec stretches - making sure the pec major doesn't get too tight is helpful for our overall posture, for shoulder positioning and therefore important with shoulder pain, neck and upper back pain. In the video are various options for stretching the pec major muscle.

5) Finally, we have a nice mobilisation for the upper back. This is very useful for neck tightness and pain, as well as upper back tightness. If you find that this exercise aggravates pain, it may mean that the tightness or aching you are feeling is more of a joint pain, and should be reviewed by a musculoskeletal specialist such as an osteopath.

Hope these help! Let me know how you get on, much more to come soon on keeping strong to help you with your work at the desk, exercises for elbow and wrist discomfort, and for lower back problems. See you soon!


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