Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk
If you have to sit at a desk for a long time every day for your job, you may begin to experience a variety of discomforts, including an aching back. When you sit down, your spine is under sustained pressure, and your muscles can’t receive the appropriate amount of blood flow they require. However, just because you are at a desk doesn’t mean that you can’t improve the strength and flexibility of your back and shoulders and help prevent spinal problems. Here are some stretches you can repeat a few times while you are at your desk:
Thoracic Rotation Stretch
For this exercise, which can help alleviate upper back pain, the starting pose is important. Sitting in your chair with your pelvis in a fixed position and your feet flat on the floor in front of you, position your hands on your hips. Next, you will tilt your torso backward until you are in a slumped position and then rock forward until you are in an arched position. Straighten your torso so that you are in the middle position and then cross your hands across your chest, placing each hand on the opposite shoulder. Rotate your spine to one side, hold that position for a few breaths and then rotate to the other side and do the same. This can be done once every hour if you have to sit down for a long time.
Start by taking one hand and touching your opposite shoulder blade. With the other hand, gently grab the raised elbow and tug it towards the opposite side. Make sure to keep both feet flat on the ground and your back straight. You can repeat this exercise twice.
Lower Spine Stretch
Periodically stretching your long spinal muscles in a forward direction can prevent them from becoming stiff from sitting hunched over a desk for a long period of time. Sit securely in your chair with your feet placed wide apart and flatted on the floor. Sit up as erectly as you can and then glide your hands slowly down your legs until your hands are touching the floor. As you move, imagine that you are slowly rolling down each joint, with your head leading the way. Breathe gently into the motion, extending the stretch as much as you are comfortable with before holding it for a count of 30 seconds.
Be sure to take the necessary precautions to take care of your spinal health. Take time to clear your walkways when the weather makes them hazardous with snow and ice. Also, make certain that you are exercising correctly to avoid damaging your spine or aggravating any existing spinal injuries. Feel free to contact Dr. Kiehm and the staff at Capital City Neurosurgery for all of your concerns about your spine.