In keeping with the theme of stretches for the upper extremity, today’s post will highlight simple stretches for your neck muscles. Despite the sunny and warm spring weather, many of us may find ourselves sitting at a desk and working on a computer for long hours throughout the day. Sitting with poor posture and for extended periods of time may cause discomfort and tension in the neck. To help relieve this tension, Dr. Alex Tan, PT, DPT demonstrates in our PTtip video how to properly sit at your workstation and two simple stretches for your neck that can be performed while sitting at your desk.
Proper Ergonomic Set Up Tips:
- Sit with your hips at 90 degrees or less.
- Your knees and elbows should be positioned at 90 degrees as well.
- You want to be looking slightly downward at the screen or have the monitor set up, so that it is no higher than eye level when you are looking at the top of the screen.
- Targets the upper trap. muscle.
- To stretch your right side, place your right hand under your right leg.
- Make sure to keep your shoulders level.
- Gently tilt your head toward your left shoulder until you feel a slight pull.
- If you don’t feel a slight pull, then gently turn head and gaze toward your left knee.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Perform this exercise on your left side as well.
- Targets the suboccipital muscles and strengthens the deep flexors of the neck.
- Bring chin slightly backward until you feel a slight pull at the base of the skull (you may also feel slight tension in the front of the neck).
- Hold position for about 10 seconds.
- Relax and then repeat for 10 repetitions.
Not only does the spring season bring warm, sunny weather, it also brings an array of fresh produce that is in-season and the perfect time to try healthy and new fruits and vegetables! As mentioned before, variety is one key component to sustaining a healthy, nutrient filled diet, and one way to ensure that your body is reaping the health benefits from a variety of vitamins and minerals is to try different fruits and vegetables.
One example of an in-season spring vegetable is spinach. Spinach is a great source of iron, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber. There are many ways to enjoy spinach such as in homemade fruit smoothies (don’t worry you can’t taste it!), as a salad base, or even added to homemade pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. For an in-season fruit, consider trying fresh apricots. Apricots supply a great amount of vitamin A and C and are a good source of fiber and potassium as well. A few ways to enjoy fresh apricots are simply on their own, baked in the oven for a dessert-like treat, or even added to savory dinner dishes like baked chicken.
Make sure you watch the PTtip video to learn how to properly perform the above stretches, and if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give us a call today at 1-855-PT-FIRST!
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.
Produce for a Better Health Foundation. (nd). Apricots: Nutrition. Selection. Storage. Retrieved from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/apricots-nutrition-selection-storage
Produce for a Better Health Foundation. (nd). Spinach: Nutrition. Selection. Storage. Retrieved from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/spinach