Mollie’s Antidotes to Combat Working From Home

Everyone is doing their bit during these turbulent times and working from home is probably taking its toll throughout the spine – neck stiffness, pressure on the lower back, pinching in the hips and tightening through the chest and shoulders.

We’ve all heard of the straw that broke the camels back and this is commonly the case for back related pain.

We all get aches and pains that come from holding a position which the body is not prepared for and it’s usually something as simple as ‘posture and habit’ that brings a patient in to see the chiropractor.

We are just as frustrated as you that we can’t help you during these times, but there is an awful lot you can do to keep your body resilient, healthy and vibrant.

My best advice for those having to carry their work out at home is to take regular breaks and just get moving! Walk up and down the stairs, circle your hips and shoulders; just do what you can do to avoid staying in any one posture.

Do you find yourself sitting like this…..

Sitting at a desk often leads to tightening of the front of the body and weakening of the back of the body. Overtime this can lead to pain so I’ve put together my antidote for those clocking up the hours at the desk to reverse the changes that happen.

Do these poses as much or as little as you like throughout the day holding the positions for a minimum of 5 breaths or longer if you need it. Focusing on your breath through these poses also calms down the nervous system helping to give you some time out

Specific stretches

Seated camel pose – Push your chest through your shoulders whilst moving your shoulder blades together. Look up and encourage spinal extension. Hold for 5-10 seconds

Seated pigeon – You should feel the stretch on the outside of the hip. Lean forward with a straight spine and push the bent knee towards the floor. Try to lengthen out of your pelvic instead of rounding over. Hold for 10-15 seconds

Seated Twist – Lengthen your spine on inhalations and use exhalations to rotate from the pelvis. Look over your shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths

Side stretch – Turn the right palm upwards and use your left hand to hold the wrist. Pull the arm up and over stretching the side of the body. Aim to bring the arm behind the ear. Hold for 5-10 breaths

Neck stretch – Lengthen the neck and Look towards the armpit applying a gentle stretch  Hold for 10 seconds

Pectoral stretch – Either on a wall or through a door frame, place your hand flat and stretch through the front of the chest – move the hand either up or down to find your point of tension. Push the front of the shoulder in towards the wall. Hold for 15 seconds

Chest opener – hands flat on the wall and move armpits towards the wall. Extend your spine and look up towards the ceiling. Hold for 5 breaths

Another thing to consider is to look at your home work station and ergonomics to reduce the strain.

Here are a few tips to think about:

– Take a break every 20-30 minutes – micro activities such as walking or stretching

– Use a rolled up towel or a lower back support to keep the natural curve on the spine

– Keyboard and mouse should not be too far away from your body

– Hips and knees bent to 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor to keep the hips and lower back open

– Make sure your chair height is high enough so your eyes are level with the top of your monitor

– Have your PC and keyboard straight in front of you so you are not twisting

– Use audio equipment that keeps you from bending your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets).

–  Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows bent to 90 degrees.

– Avoid sitting on anything that would create uneven pressure

 

So, this should be enough to help you for now.  We are holding telephone or video appointments for patients so if you are struggling, please call the usual number 020 8943 2424

Mollie Tollino – Chiropractor at Waldegrave Clinic