Five Stretches To Help Repetitive Stress Syndrome

  Five Stretches To Help Office Workers Ward Off Repetitive Stress Syndrome Guest article by Eric Van Buskirk Title graphic courtesy of Dr. Rick Duenas Most working professionals are stuck sitting at a desk for hours, maintaining the same stiff-necked posture. Whether working in an office or remotely, many people find themselves sitting at a desk for long periods on end. Repeating the same movements and staying in the same position gradually wears at the musculoskeletal and nervous systems; this is especially true for smaller muscle groups, like those in the neck and hands. Repetitive stress syndrome is the result of an accumulation of repetitive stress injuries (RSI) that can have lasting effects like chronic pain, soreness, weakness and even numbness or tingling. In this post, we’ll go over some easy stretches that alleviate the strain on your body. Without Further Ado, and in No Particular Order Chin Tucks are done by pushing your chin back toward your neck and holding for five slow breaths, maintaining proper posture. As you inhale, allow your upper back to expand. This will release the many neck extensor muscles that stay contracted while sitting at a desk. To intensify the stretch, tilt your head down. This brings the teres and erector spinae muscles into the stretch. All of these muscles contribute to tension headaches. Torso Twists done sitting can really help your upper and lower back if done properly. Start by crossing your right leg over your left knee, turn so your right knee is just behind your left elbow and place your right hand on the back of your chair. Be sure to keep your core engaged and your spine neutral. When you’re ready, push off of your right knee for a gentle, controlled stretch. Hold for five slow breaths. As you inhale, allow your ribs to expand. Be sure to switch sides when you’re finished.

Watch the animated stretch, courtesy of Healthline

Shoulder Rolls are best done standing. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, activate your core to stabilize your hips and keep your entire spine in good alignment. Push your right shoulder forward while simultaneously pulling your left shoulder back, then roll it up and around toward the back while rolling the left shoulder down and forward. It should be like drawing vertical circles with your deltoids. Complete 20 full circles, then repeat in the opposite direction. This will warm and stretch your deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, and pectoralis muscles. Hip Flexor Stretches require a bit more space than the others. While standing, engage your core to maintain your posture as you take a generous step forward with your left foot. Bend your left knee until it’s directly above your ankle (use a wall or desktop for stability if you feel shaky). Use your abs and glutes to tilt the bottom of your pelvis upward; you should feel a stretch between the top of your right thigh and lowest external oblique muscle. To intensify the stretch, rotate the front-right corner of your pelvis outward. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Hip flexors get shortened by extended periods of sitting and rarely get stretched passively, so this is especially beneficial for office workers. Forearm Hand & Finger Stretch sequences can be done sitting. First, extend your right arm forward with your palm facing up, and use your left hand to pull your fingers back toward you. You should feel a stretch along the inside of your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds. To vary the stretch, simply adjust the angle of your right arm. Then, with your arm extended, turn your knuckles upward. Grasp your knuckles with your left hand and pull toward your body. This will stretch the top of your wrist and forearm. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Next, with your arm still extended, grip each finger individually with your left hand, pull and hold for 20 seconds each. Lastly, drop your arm & shake it out. Repeat on the other side. Remember to Stay Consistent With the technology we have at our disposal, the movement required to get the job done has become very limited, more repetitive and mechanical. Do yourself a favor, give your body a break every couple hours with this easy-to-do stretch routine.

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