Exercises Against Neck Pain

Do you work a lot in front of the computer and have shoulder and neck pain at your desk? Yoga can help you loosen up and re-mobilize your muscles. Here are four simple exercises to help you feel better quickly.

As an accomplished “desk clerk” you will know the phenomenon: the longer you work at the computer without interruption, the more penetrating neck tension and headaches become. 

Ignoring doesn’t help. Instead, you can use the simple exercises below from this article to ease or even get rid of your neck tension. 

Cause: Incorrect Posture at the Desk

No wonder, because as a rule we adopt a very one-sided attitude when working at the desk – for hours a day and extrapolated over the years of our working life. A lot comes together for the body, which is naturally programmed to move. The one-sided sitting position is accompanied by the constant handling of the mouse hand, which continues into the shoulder. In addition, the stare into the screen This strain on the eyes can manifest itself as a headache over the long term. We also like to unconsciously lift a shoulder and push our head forward in order to literally “crawl into” the screen.

The consequence: shortened, hardened muscles that can cause shoulder pain, back pain and neck pain at the desk.

Keeping Your Composure in Everyday Life

Ultimately, in (almost) all everyday postures, the shoulders automatically move forward: whether typing or scrolling, driving a car or bicycle, cooking or cleaning, changing diapers or tidying up. Day after day, month after month, year after year – if we don’t regularly take care of compensatory movements, strengthening and stretching – we establish tension in the body. With short yoga exercises in the office, you can help yourself well before simple tension turns into chronic pain.

I would now like to give you five proven exercises against neck pain so that you can do your work again easily and relaxed.

Five Relaxing Yoga Exercises for Shoulder and Neck Pain at the Desk

If you notice neck pain at your desk after hours of work, it can be helpful and beneficial to incorporate a few yoga exercises into your daily routine. Paired with deep, conscious breathing, they can counteract shoulder tension, relieve back pain and promote inner calm. The exercises also have a preventive effect! It’s best to take short breaks twice a day for yoga exercises in the office.

If you have musculoskeletal disorders, please discuss the exercises with your doctor or physiotherapist in advance.

Stretching Exercises for the Neck

Here are the two most important stretching exercises for the chest and neck area:

Exercise 1: Stretching the Chest Muscles

The everyday posture leaning forward also results in shortened chest muscles, which in turn has a restrictive effect on breathing. As a countermovement, stand up and clasp your hands behind your back. Try to bring the heels of your hands closer together. Bring some light activity into your stomach to avoid a hollow back.

Use the clasped hands to gently pull your shoulders down. If possible, keep them in this position as you loosen your hands and slowly move your outstretched arms backwards and upwards. Focus your attention on your pectoralis major and notice how more space is created on your front.

Variation: In addition, from this position you can gently bend your head forward and roll a little to the sides. This is how you stretch your neck at the same time.

Exercise 2: Long Neck

Sit upright in the chair. It is best to slide forward onto the edge of the chair. Place both feet parallel on the floor. Then bend your head to the left and bring your left ear closer to your left shoulder (not the other way around!). You stretch your right arm down so that you feel a stretch on the right of your neck. Maybe that’s enough for you. For more intensity, you can place your left hand on the right side of the temple and carefully pull your head further to the left. You then do the same on the other side. Then cross your hands behind your head and bend your chin towards your sternum. Gently slide your hands to the back of your head. Feel exactly how much stretch is comfortable for you in the neck. This exercise is a very effective help if you have neck pain at the desk.

Exercises to Mobilize the Shoulders

Often we don’t even notice that the shoulders have long since left their natural position and are much higher up – where they like to stay. You can start by rotating your shoulders, either in parallel or alternately. It is advisable to make the circles from front to top to back so that an opening is created in the chest at the same time. Perform the movement as loosely and smoothly as possible.

The following exercise is very suitable for stretching the whole back:

Exercise 3: Cat-Cow

The “Cat-Cow-Stretch” is a relief for the back and the entire spine. While sitting, place your hands on your thighs and inhale and push your sternum far forward. Bring length into your spine, it almost creates a small hollow back. Hold the belly slightly active. The shoulders remain low. With the exhalation you move vertebra by vertebra into the cat’s hump and become completely round, the chin goes to the sternum.

The shoulders are not pushed up to the ears, but only forward. Imagine breathing backwards between the vertebrae and shoulder blades, expanding the space created. In the “cat-cow process” you always roll a little forward and backward over your ischial tuberosities, so the movement is basically created in the pelvis and continues vertically upwards.

Exercise 4: Twist

Rotations, so-called twists, mobilize and delight our spine. They can also give us the feeling of being able to remain calm even in “twisted” situations. This can also be helpful for pain in the neck from desk work.

Slide forward to the edge of the chair, inhale, and straighten up for a long time. As you exhale, turn your upper body to the left. If you have the back of a chair, you can hold onto it with your right hand, otherwise you can place your hand on your left thigh. You can use the left arm z. B. wrap around your lower back.

It is best to keep the neck long, with the chin above the breastbone. Inhaling, lift your sternum up and feel the length in your spine. Exhaling, turn left. Notice that the rotation occurs in the thoracic spine area. With each breath you can rotate a little further as far as is convenient for you. Then you switch sides. Incorporate these stretching and mobilization exercises into your office day from time to time to stay supple and as relaxed as possible.

Regular yoga practice, even with longer sessions, is recommended and, in addition to physical relaxation, can also bring more inner peace.

Have fun relaxing! 

Image courtesy- yogamehome.org

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