Home Office Aches & Pains
Many of you have adjusted to working at home. Of course there are pros and cons. Working in your pj's and easy access to the snacks. On the down side there are the achy muscles from long hours of sitting. You can take the ideas below with you when you go back to the office. I hope that you benefit from my tips to correct your aches and pains.
If you get headaches, or soreness in your neck and shoulders I suggest lowering or raising your monitor so that your eyes are level with it. You can stretch tight muscles by slowly bringing your chin to your chest and then gently roll your head to each shoulder. Slowly raise your head to center. Then bring your ear toward your shoulder while shoulders are even and relaxed. Don't force your head to the shoulder. Follow the same on the other side.
If you're prone to back aches I recommend that you keep a tennis ball near by. You can put it between the chair and the tense area of your back. Take a deep breath and as you exhale relax back into the tennis ball. Keep the breathing going and allow for the tension to release. It may also help to put a small cushion at the lumbar curve of your back for support while working.
In order to reach difficult areas or increase pressure you can put the tennis ball between your back and the wall. Rolling it up and down against the wall gives you control. This works great around the shoulder blades. If you feel the need for more pressure You can use a lacrosse ball. You can put as much pressure on it as you desire. Do not place either ball against your spine. Only sore muscles will appreciate the gesture.
You can invest in a chair with better support. Your hips should be level with your knees when your feet are flat on the floor. A variety of ergonomically designed chairs can be found at places like smartfurniture.com, hermanmiller.com, humanscale.com and roomandboard.com.
You can use gravity to loosen your spine. Slowly bend at your waist. Allow your head and arms to hang in front of you. Stay there for 15-20 seconds. Slowly raise to a standing position. Hold onto something for balance if needed. Another good option is a standing desk which has given relief to many of my clients.
Muscle cramps can be caused by dehydration. Keep water at your desk and sip throughout the day. If it's sitting in front of you you're unlikely to forget.
Feeling fatigued? Take breaks. Even if they're short, just do it. Your body needs to stretch. Stand up and walk around. Then standing in place you can slowly take deep breath's and stretch your arms above your head. Our cats and dogs will usually stretch when they get up. Do you think that we'd be in better condition if our natural instinct was the same? I believe so.
If you get stiff you can stand with your hands on your waist. Slowly twist form one side to the other. Exhale while twisting. Keep your hips from moving with a hands on your hips at the waist.
If you feel a radiating pain down the outer side of your leg it may be an irritated sciatic nerve. Try laying on your back with shoulders flat, touching the floor or bed. One leg is bent and the other is straight. Cross the foot of the bent leg over the straight leg. Gently press the thigh down across your body toward the floor. This will raise and stretch your hip. Follow on the other side.
Please check with your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying conditions. I hope that this is helpful. Let's get comfortable working from home.
Ilyse Tariq LMT,
Therapeutic Bodywork by Ilyse