When we’re at a desk computer or playing on the phone, we’re spending lots of time looking at the ground and sitting down.
When we slump in our posture, our shoulders twitch and our heads move upwards, causing the painful condition called “text neck.”
This can cause your upper back to become weaker and the chest muscles to tighten. In time, shoulders could overcompensate and lead to knots that hurt in the shoulders and neck as well as headaches.
How to avoid shoulder and neck pain?
As a fitness coach I practice five stretch exercises each morning to help prevent shoulder and neck pain, and especially those that are caused by neck text.
1. Myofascial release in the chest
I love starting myofascial release exercises, which are massages targeted at tension in the fascial tissue which wraps around your muscles because they can help loosen your muscles.
- Pick up the tennis ball (or a myofascial release ball that is the size of the tangerine) and press it with a firm pressure while you move it up and down the shoulder area. as well as your chest couple.
- If you’d like to get a more thorough massage, put it between the chest area and wall of the wall. Locate an area of knot (a soft place) and then move your body upwards and down in order to rub the ball on the knot.
- Repeat this exercise at least 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat the process on the other side.
2. Myofascial release from the traps in the upper part of the body.
Then you should loosen and warm the muscles of your back by paying attention to your trapezius muscle (a.k.a. the “traps”) that are located in the upper back between your neck and shoulders. The traps are very tense when you turn your shoulders to the side.
- Use the myofascial release ball with your right hand, and then place it on your left shoulder close to the neck.
- You can move the ball around until you spot knots. Press the ball on the shoulder, and allow your arms to hang. Your arms can help the ball to work into knots that you might be suffering from.
- Perform this in 30-60 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
3. Wall angels
It’s time to build your upper back. When we round our shoulders our upper back is stretched out, which means it doesn’t work the muscles that are used. The muscles are weakened, which causes us to compensate by putting our bodies into traps.
- Lean against the wall, and then press your lower back against the wall. It does not have to be a long “wall seat,” but a comfortable seat.
- Make your arms in the shape of an “W” Do all you can keep your wrists and elbows against the wall.
- Take your arms and move them towards the wall for about a foot at the same time keeping your lower back towards the wall, and your elbows and wrists closest towards the wall.
- Return to your starting point.
- Do three sets of 10 reps.
4. Chest stretch
This stretching can lengthen muscles and improve the range of motion.
- Stand in front of a wall and extend your right hand towards the side. Your palm should be placed and the entire arm against the wall.
- Slowly start to move your body left of the wall. Stop when the force of the exercise is a six out of ten.
- Do it for 30 seconds or two minutes, and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side. While holding, you can try various positions using your hands by moving your arms just a bit higher to get a greater stretch.
5. Neck circles
There are over 20 neck muscles and these circles offer you the opportunity to identify the ones that are tight.
- Place your hands on you back in order to “pull” the shoulders back.
- Begin by bringing your chin towards your chest. Then slowly turn your head until your right ear points towards the right shoulder.
- Take a moment to look up towards the ceiling, then continue the circle until your left ear faces your left shoulder. Then place your chin on your chest.
- Change direction.
- If any area of the circle is feeling particularly tense stop and let the stretch last for around 30 seconds before proceeding.
- Make three or four circles in each direction.
Be aware that these exercises aren’t suitable for everyone. If you suffer from any health or physical issues, talk to your physician prior to trying any of these exercises.
This routine may alleviate or reduce discomfort, I would also suggest setting up a space in which you don’t have to glance down frequently.
This is essentially holding your phone when you look at it, making sure that you are using an ergonomic desk and incorporating movement throughout the day.
Stephanie Mellinger is a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. Additionally, Stephanie is creator of Omnia Fit and a writer for HealthDay. Find her on Instagram @omnia_fit_.
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