Stretches to Get Rid of WFH Aches and Pain

stretches

Many tend to overlook the importance of stretching to relieve neck and back aches. Apart from massaging tense muscles, stretches are an easy and effective method to improve flexibility. They also can lengthen the tight muscles which are likely causing you pain. During this circuit breaker period, many may experience new neck and back aches while working from home. In this article, Wei Xin shares and demonstrates 3 simple stretches you can perform at home to relieve these aches

General guidelines about stretches

In terms of the level of discomfort, on a scale of 0 – 10, it should only be around 2-3. Hold each position for minimally 15 seconds or even up to 1 minute and feel the stretch deepen. Stay in that movement and explore the tension, feeling for where the position is most uncomfortable. Don’t make quick or sharp movements, go gently and stay in that position once you’ve found it. 

Types of Stretches for your Pain

Different stretches target specific muscle groups. The following stretches target muscles that are commonly strained or tight due to working postures or being stuck at the desk for too long.

If you are experiencing Neck Pain

This stretch targets the muscles on the side and the back of your neck – namely the Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapulae, Splenius. How to perform this stretch:

  1. Sit up straight and stay tall
  2. Tilt head to the left and gently roll your head forward 
  3. Hold the position for 15 seconds
  4. Revert to starting position
  5. Repeat the same on your right

You should feel a good stretch on the side of your neck as well as the back of your neck. If you do not feel a stretch, you can place your hands on your head and pull it towards the tilted side to assist you in getting a deeper stretch

This following targets the tense muscles on the front of the neck – Upper Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and Scalenes. How to perform this stretch:

  1. Sit up straight and stay tall
  2. Tilt head to the left and gently roll your head backwards 
  3. Hold the position for 15 seconds
  4. Revert to starting position
  5. Repeat the same on your right

If you are experiencing Back Pain

Yoga practitioners will be familiar with this, commonly known as the Child’s Pose. This targets the spinal muscles such as the erector spinae, iliocostalis, spinalis, longissimus and quadratus lumborum. How to perform this stretch:

  1. Kneel on your bed with your knees and ankles together. If you start to experience discomfort in your ankles, kneel towards the end of the bed or put a pillow under your ankles.
  2. Keeping your hips on your heels, bend your body forward with your forehead touching the bed
  3. Lift your hands overhead and walk your hands in front of you as far as possible
  4. Relax, breathe in deeply and hold it for 15 seconds

And there you have it – 3 simple stretches for back and neck aches that may arise from working from home. If you are experiencing back pain or neck pain that is affecting your quality of life, do give us a call so that we are able to assess the severity of your condition and help you.