Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional before starting an exercise program and if you feel any adverse reactions with exercise.
Have you been sitting during quarantine more often than you usually would? Quarantining has caused many of us to work from home. If you have an active job that involves moving around, you may feel confined to your desk or some other unique areas to sit like the couch. All of this may be taking a toll on your posture. Throw being a mom into the mix requiring bending over children, nursing or bottle-feeding, changing diapers, and picking up toys, your neck, mid-back, and shoulders may be aching and asking for some love. Below are four easy to do postural exercises to help prevent and relieve postural related neck and shoulder pain.
With pulling the shoulders away from the ears and drawing the shoulder blades together, pretend to give yourself a double chin. Hold for about five seconds. Perform about ten repetitions after spending time in a slumped posture. Make sure you are pulling your chin straight back and not nodding downwards.
Standing near a wall, make goal posts with your arms. Without leaning back into the wall try and bring your arms slightly behind you as you move the arms up and down in a comfortable range of motion. Try ten repetitions after spending time in a slumped posture.
Side-Lying Open Books
Lie on your side with knees and hips at about 90 degrees. It is best to support the neck with a pillow and place another pillow in between your knees. With your arms extended out in front of your chest open the top arm as you begin to rotate through your mid-back. Keep your hips stacked and only go to the range you can keep the hips stacked without rotating from your low back. Look towards your open arm and hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times each side.
Set an alarm on your phone to go off every 1-2 hours if you are sitting doing work. When it goes off, follow the sequence below:
- Relax your jaw by opening it slightly, let out a huge sigh.
- Pull your shoulders away from your ears.
- Open your hands if they are fisted and relax them on the desk. It is good practice to have your forearms supported by your desk.
- Make sure you are not sucking in your abdominals like you are putting on tight jeans and let them relax by letting your belly hang.
- Relax your butt cheeks into the chair and make sure you are not squeezing your legs together.
- Make sure your toes are relaxed and not curled.
These exercises don’t need to be done all at once. You can sneak them into your day and stick with the ones that feel good. You know your body best, and if you feel pain with exercises stop performing them. If you have continued neck and shoulder pain with sitting, you should consider seeing a trained medical professional for continued advice and treatment. Physical therapy can be a great non-invasive option for treating pain and helping regain function if appropriate.
With An Open Learning Mind,