Here are a few quick and dirty “everyday essential exercises” that are simple and effective in re-instituting muscle balance to your upper body to help prevent and eliminate pain.
1) Doorway stretch or Pectoral Massage
Stand in a doorframe, placing forearm in frame. Make sure your elbow is above your shoulder. Step forward with the SAME side leg. You should feel a stretch in front of the shoulder. Perform on both sides.
* If you cannot get your elbow above your shoulder OR if this position causes you pain, perform the pectoral massage below.
Find your pectoral muscle just below your collarbone. Pressing in with your fingers, massage with little circular motions in one direction and then the other for about 30 seconds. Perform on both shoulders.
2) Shoulder blade squeezes
Start with both arms at your sides. Bring your shoulder blades down and in toward each other. Be sure not to hike your shoulders upward! If you have difficulty with this, you may think of sticking your chest out to help accomp
lish this motion.
In addition to these three exercises, check out your work situation. Is there a way that you could adjust the set-up of your workspace to reduce the stress on your body? Check out this picture below for some computer use guidelines. If you continue to suffer from headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain or low back pain, consult your physician and get a referral for physical therapy for further treatment, education and advice.
Dr. Bethany Bradford, Physical Therapist