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Working from home with shoulder pain? Here’s what to do

by Aiden

Rikhi Anandsongkit and his team give you a physio’s fix for feeling great. 

As we move through these uncertain times, we’re faced with new issues every day. We’ve got to plan more meals, make sure our kids are attending their online Zoom classes, and we’ve even got to set up our home office so we can work from home.

From this comes a whole new set of concerns…

Unfortunately, most of our home office setups are far from ideal. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in people suffering from shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches, as well as the aggravation of existing issues with lower back pain and sciatica.

If this sounds like you and you are currently working from home, we want to share with you simple tips to help you ease your shoulder stiffness:

Move around. It’s so important that you get up and move around at least once every hour. We’re not suggesting you sprint around your house hourly! It could be as simple as walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

Stretch before and after work. Stretching away your muscle aches and pains is a great way to start your day, especially as you have been sleeping in the same position for hours and will continue to be stationary at work later in the day. Similarly, it’s just as important to stretch after a long day of work. Not only will this leave you feeling a lot calmer and stress-free, it can also help you sleep better. Here are three easy-to-do exercises and stretches you can do at your desk:

  • Desk Angels. Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? Here’s how you do them. Sit straight in your chair, and raise your arms straight up like you’re reaching for the heavens. Keep your body still and pull your arms down like you’re putting on a shirt, all while keeping your elbows back. Repeat this 10 times.
  • Shoulder Rolls. Keep your back straight and chin tucked in. Roll your shoulders forward 10 times and then roll your shoulder backwards 10 times.
  • Armpit Stretch. This exercise targets the muscle near the shoulder blade. Caution: Don’t do this in front of other people, as it’ll look like you’re sniffing your armpit. Sit with your back straight and rotate your head sideways so that your nose is directly above your armpit. Hold your head with your hand and gently use it to push your nose closer to your armpit. Hold for 10 seconds and then do the other side. Repeat twice more on each side.
     

There you have it, a few simple tips to ease your shoulder stiffness! Remember that as the hours you work build up, so does the pressure and pain in your shoulders. Take your breaks, do your exercises, keep moving, and take care of your health.

Rikhi is the owner of Form Physio and Rehab, a physiotherapy clinic that helps adults in Bangkok aged 40+ become active and mobile, and live free from painkillers, injections, and surgeries. He and his team of physical therapists are happy to answer any questions about shoulder pain or neck pain by phone (095-083-4315) or by email at info@formphysiorehab.com. You can also visit them at their clinics in Sukhumvit Soi 20 or Sukhumvit Soi 49, or learn more from their website, www.formphysiorehab.com.

 

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