It is a well known fact that physical stress can lead to pain in the body. But it is also true that mental stress or anxiety can also lead to spinal (back & neck) and joint pain. Sadly, mental stress is an integral part of life for most people. More so for working mum who are constantly juggling and multitasking work, kids, home, work travels, meetings, sitting for long hours at the desk, etc.
In this blog, lets discuss three tips to reduce stress related Pain and Muscle Tension.
When you are stressed or anxious, your posture changes to a more slouched posture. This is commonly seen as rounded shoulders and forward head posture (poking the head out). These poor postures change the length tension relationship between the muscles leading to pain. If you are able to maintain a good posture in sitting or standing the tension on the muscles eases, thereby decreasing or eliminating muscle pain.
The first tip is to keep the top of your phone five to ten degrees lower than the neutral gaze of the eye, when using your mobile phone to maintain your neck in good posture. Same rule applies if you are looking at a laptop or computer screen. This helps the head to be in a neutral position and helps eliminates poor postures such as forward head posture. The picture below will help you understand this better.
The second tip is to keep your mid back (thoracic spine) in a neutral position and eliminate poor postures such as rounded shoulders and slouching at the midback. Take a tennis ball or a soft massage ball and put it between your shoulder blades, anywhere from the top to the mid part of the shoulder blades. The moment you slouch forwards, the tennis ball will drop down. It will give a feedback to correct your posture.
Here is a video that will explain these two tips further:
The third tips is to take regular breaks during the day to stretch your body. This helps to overcome the fatigue and tension in the muscles from the continuous or repeated stress. Anyways, our bodies are not meant for static postures, whether it is prolonged standing or prolonged sitting. Stand up, move around, and stretch every 30 minutes throughout the day to reverse the effects of being seated for extended periods. These desk based exercises take one to three minutes of your time every hour and can be done in your office or at home. You can access them HERE.
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