Soft Tissue Therapy Relieves the Pain of Working at a Desk –
If you don’t move it, you lose it!
If you work at a desk all week and typically sit for long periods of time during the day, you may be suffering from more than simply low levels of energy. Sitting can leave you feeling tired, sore, and unmotivated at the end of a long day at the office, but it can do much worse. Over time, sitting in the same position can negatively impact the body natural posture and in turn our movement patterns.
Not all natural postures are the same. What might be a neutral and/or functional posture for you may be different to that of one of your work colleagues. However, one element of life is the same for all us. Movement. If you don’t move it, you lose it!
Our bodies are designed to move, not be static all day sitting at a desk. Even if your desk is completely ergonomic, your body is still going to be locked in certain positions during the day. Granted, we all have work to get done, but life is about balance, that’s the key.
So what actually happens?
When you hunch forward at a desk, your body isn’t correctly aligned forcing some muscles to work incredibly hard all day long whilst others get weaker. Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period trains our muscles to shorten, lengthen and even reshape. This then causes muscle imbalances allowing our body and muscles to be pulled into an incorrect posture.
Some of the effects and symptoms may include:
Lower Back Pain Elbow Pain
Overactive and under-active muscles Joint compression
Muscle fatigue Headaches
Poor mobility Limited breathing patterns
So what can be done to help?
At Absolute Health & Performance we use a range of soft tissue therapy techniques to alleviate the symptoms of a desk bound life, and guide you through self-help strategies to better manage your working week.
James Meredith demonstrates Myofascial Release to chest and arm muscles. This manual therapy technique helps lengthen the connective tissues that have shortened while hunched over the desk while de-loading excessive force placed on the joints.
James Meredith takes Mike through some Thoracic Spine exercises to help mid back tension felt after a long day at the computer. These promote a rotational pattern through the mid back which helps alleviate rounding of the shoulders and excessive flexion of the spine.
Half Kneeling T Spine Rotation
Self Help Strategy #1 Half Foam Roller
Let Gravity do the work!
Half Foam Rollers provide the perfect platform to help align the spine and length tight muscles. This simple exercise of lying on the half roller allows you to concentrate practicing slow and controlled breathing patterns while holding a neutral position with your head positioned correctly on top of your spine.
This exercise can be performed anywhere at any time and is an ideal break from the work station.
- Sit with your pelvis on the base of the roller and your head positioned correctly at the top.
- Have your arms by your side with your palms facing up.
- Begin slow and controlled breathing patterns to allow for a greater soft tissue release and state of relaxation.
- On each exhale imagine your muscles relaxing back to their resting position.
- Be patient and allow gravity and your breathing patterns to do the work.
- Mobilise you shoulder blades by gently moving your arms up and down the floor as shown.
- Take your time! Don’t worry about time! Below is an example of how to use your breathing and muscular tension to determine the length of the exercise.
12 deep breaths lying still
8 deep breaths while mobilising shoulders
12 deep breaths lying still
Absolute Health & Performance Soft Tissue Therapist James Meredith has over a decade of experience treating stress states through Therapeutic and Remedial Therapies. To find out more come in and see us at Absolute. Massage Therapy Melbourne CBD.