Neck & Back Pain; Stretch and Strengthen
If you have poor posture or sit at a desk most of the day, you may experience neck and/or back pain.
You are not alone; millions of Canadians suffer from chronic neck and back pain often triggered by routine activities such as working at a desk. Leduc Physio wants to help you get back to normal with a few exercises, tips, and tricks for dealing with neck and back issues at the office.
By strengthening muscles in the affected areas, the muscles increase endurance which can lead to a pain free day at the office. Here are some of our favorites:
Wall push ups; strengthen muscles across the chest, through the back and neck. *hands at shoulder height, keep body straight in plank position*
Scapular wall slide; strengthens muscles between the shoulders to correct posture and support neck. *keep your bum, shoulders and back of hands on wall at all times*
Neck retractions; strengthen muscles at back of neck.
*Place hands at back of neck, push neck into hands (while tucking chin) and hold for 5 seconds, then relax and repeat*
Mountain climbers on chair; strengthen muscles in back and neck while activating the core. *Do not use a rolling chair! Got into a plank position using a chair under hands. Alternate raising knees towards shoulder.
Stretching tight and sore muscles may be the key to relieving some pain. These stretches can be done anywhere! *Hold stretches for at least 30 seconds, and do not push through any sharp pain*
Upper trapezius stretch; stretches back of neck and across upper shoulder *hold base of chair, then tilt head towards opposite shoulder*
Stretch back of neck; stretches muscles along back of neck and between shoulders*place one hand on back of head and the other on the chin. Gently tuck chin (assist with hand) and apply pressure forwards/upwards on back of head simultaneously until stretch is felt*
Pectoralis stretch; stretches muscles through front of shoulders and chest*find a doorway, place palms on either side of door jamb with elbows facing down. Slowly walk or lean chest forward until stretch is felt*
Stretch for front of neck; stretches muscles at front of neck*Place one hand over the other at base of neck, gently press down against collarbone as you tilt chin upwards*
Adjust seat so feet are flat on floor, with knees level with or lower than the hips.Here are a few tips for preventing back and neck pain when sitting at a desk.
- *You may need to place something under your feet to accomplish this*
- Sit back in your seat so back rests against the chair.
- Adjust armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed.
- Raise monitor to achieve a straight gaze, rather than looking down at the monitor.