Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Relief for stiff neck and upper back

Most of us work on the pc all day long, sometimes continuing into the night. All this long exposure to certain repetitive movement causes stress injuries to muscles, tendons and soft tissues, especially when it’s done over poor sitting posture. 

After a few hours on the pc, I would normally develop neck, shoulder and upper back stiffness, which sometimes causes pain when I turn my head to a certain side. 

The best way to combat such injuries is to practice some simple yoga stretches which can be performed at your seat. This is what I would normally do.

Seated backbend
Open up your chest, lift up your chin, and stretch your hand to the back to hold the lower back rest. Breathe deep and slow. Breathe in and out 8 times.

                                            Pixture from Carolyn Weatherson

Hugging arms
While seated on your chair, do a hugging arm pose like the one in the picture below. Bring your chin down and try to touch your chest with it, keep your back straightBreathe deep and slow.

Seated chair twist
Seated with the right side of your body facing the chair back. Hold the sides of the chair with your hands and slowly twist to your right from the base of your spine. Breathe deep and slow. Switch sides.

                                            Picture taken from here

Cow face pose (modified)
Perform this pose while seated on your chair. Keep your back straight, and open up your chest. And don't forget to switch sides.

Downward dog pose (modified)
This is my favorite pose, it works every time.

Place your hands either on your desk or the back of your chair. Fan out your fingers, press down your back and upper back to ensure it is flat, by walking your feet back and lengthen your spine. Keep your head same level as your upper body. Breathe deep and slow.

                                         Picture taken from Karen Voight

For early prevention, always listen to your body. The minute certain parts of your body tells you it’s sore or stiff or uncomfortable, get up and start doing some stretching. Your muscles and tendons need some loosening up, that’s all.

The above tips are from Yoga Journal. Feel free to check out their website here.

You might be interested to check out my other related post below :

Blog name – carrot head and applemint

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