Rub-a-dub-dub those aching Neck & Shoulders

Ouch, working long hours in front of the computer is giving me really bad neck ache. I feel like
someone just placed 2 sacks of rice on my shoulders! Although during lockdown when supermarket shelves are empty, having 2 sacks of rice is not a bad thing :)

All kidding aside, many of you have asked for tips in 2 main areas, namely mental and physical wellness to help you cope with WFH and COVID-19. In fact, our How to setup your home office video is one of the highest trending post. So do remember to check it out if you haven’t. Today, our in-house Physiotherapist Carina, will show you how to deal with those achy neck & shoulders in 3 easy steps. Let’s begin.

Hello, hope you have made your working from home experience more comfortable from our
previous suggestions. Yes I know, its never going to be perfect. A dinner table is always going to be a dinner table no matter how you modify it. So I’ve been asked so frequently how we can do better despite of all the limitations. Well, in the upcoming videos, I’ll try to answer most of these questions.

But as of today, we will first discuss how to deal with Neck & Shoulders soreness like a pro.
My 1st suggestion is, be aware of your working posture. Ask yourself 2 questions: 1st: “Where is your head?”  2nd: “Where are your shoulders?” Check whether your head is sitting on top of your shoulders with your neck in a straight line. Or if your head and your chin is poking too far forward creating unnecessary strain on your neck. 2nd your shoulders are they sitting relaxed just like that or are they constantly tensed and elevated holding on to the tension. I think you don’t need me to tell you which one is a better posture to hold on to right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you to stay in a perfectly upright posture all the time during your working hours. Simply unachievable. How about we be more realistic? Like take 2 mins break for every single working hour and just go through some basic stretches with me to take yourself out of the computer posture. I’ll show you what to do.

First, I’ll show you a stretch on the scalene muscle which runs from the side of your neck down to your shoulder. 1st I’d like you to wrap this arm around the back to stabilize the shoulders. Then take the opposite hand to the side of the head. Mind you, you are not trying to crank very hard here. You are just making use of the weight of the arm to drop down to the side in a relaxed way. Simply breathe and hold for 30s. You will feel the stretch down the side of the neck to the shoulder.

So 30s later repeat it on the other side. That is the scalene stretch. And then you want to proceed to stretch out the back of your neck. You simply tuck in your chin, roll your head forward. This time collapse your hands behind your head. And again make use of the weight of your arms, drop forward. From the side, it looks like this. So this stretch is going down the back of your neck. Again, hold for 30s.

Stand up from your work station, have your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers.
Straighten up the elbows. Make sure you keep your back straight all the time. Now keep your chin in and make sure your head is above the shoulders. Then gradually pull your arms behind you with your elbows straight. At this point, you will start to feel a lot of stretch across your chest. Try to stay here, take a few deep breaths and if possible, start rolling your shoulders backwards to open up the chest more.

Hope you find the drills and exercises easy to follow. Even if you can’t get rid of all the muscle
tensions with such simple drills, but at least the 2 minute break out of your sitting cycle can give your body a break every single hour. So try this out at home and let me know how it goes. In the next video, we will go through some remedies concerning sitting related backaches. See you.