Working at a computer for many hours every day causes muscles to tighten up and tire. This can lead to pain in the neck and shoulder and can even cause referred pain into the head and face – so-called cervicogenic headaches.
Here at Sundial we have developed a series of exercises to help. They are so easy you can do them at your desk and around the office without attracting too many funny looks!
Doing these exercises before aches and pain start is a good way to prevent discomfort from building through the day. You can do these exercises 3-5 times each day. Remember to keep breathing throughout and avoid pulling or pushing too hard. You should feel a gentle stretch but little or no discomfort. If you do feel pain during or after doing these exercises then see your local chiropractor. If you are in Brighton we’d be happy to offer you a free check to make sure everything is alright and you are doing the exercises properly.
Hold your right hand behind your back
Bent your head to the left
Hold 30 seconds
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Grab your head with your right hand
Pull your head forward and to the right
Hold 30 seconds
Suboccipital Muscle Stretch
Press on your chin with your hand until you feel a stretch on your upper neck
Hold 10 to 30 seconds
Pectoral Muscle Stretch
Hold your right forearm on a door frame with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and your arm parallel to the floor
Step your right leg forward
Hold 30 seconds
Push your arms forward as if you wanted to separate your shoulder blades to the maximum
Staying fit and active as we age is important but you might not know what to do. This is even harder if you are confined to the house. If you are not used to going to the gym or exercising regularly these simple exercises to do at home will give you a safe and easy programme to do in a few minutes a day.
Some people think that they can’t exercise because of aches and pains and that exercise might make these problems worse. This is rarely true. Actually, doing the right exercises with the right intensity can allow big gains in movement without aggravating other symptoms. In fact, aches and pains often improve a lot. These exercises have also been chosen as they will protect your back. So if you suffer from back pain you can do these without upsetting a back problem.
As we get older the freedom to get out and about is as important as ever. Stiff joints and painful muscles can often hinder normal activity and the less we do, the less we are able to do. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing the right things to do can lead to big gains in function and mobility.
You can improve fitness, balance and activity
Only a quarter of older people get enough exercise and on average spend 10 hours a day sitting down(1). The more time you spend sitting down the worse your health will be. Use it or lose it is always true, even at 70, probably more so. Regular exercises can improve just about all health conditions. Heart problems, diabetes, cancer, mental health, osteoporosis and balance all benefit – often more than the drugs used to treat these conditions and without the side effects! Well, that is not strictly true as anyone who has had sore muscles the day after exercising will tell you. You’ve probably experienced that yourself and this is normal. To watch, click below:
Side effects of exercising if you are older
If you find that you are sore on the day of doing these exercises then you have probably overdone it. In that case, leave it a few days and resume the exercises but choose the easier ones, choose just one or two and do them for a shorter time, say 15 seconds each rather than 30 seconds. As your body gets used to exercising again you can introduce a few more exercises and then do them for the full 30 seconds. If symptoms persist or if you are worried that these exercises are appropriate for you then see your chiropractor or other healthcare professional.
If you are stuck at home and want to know what the best exercises to keep fit are while protecting your back, then this video is for you. You don’t need lots of equipment. In fact, you don’t need any equipment. You don’t need colourful, stretchy gym gear either as you can do these exercises wearing normal everyday clothes.
These exercises work all the main muscle groups quickly so it doesn’t take long. You can go at your own pace and there are regular breaks – which you will need if you do the programme correctly. These home exercises use the principles of High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT but don’t let that put you off! All this means is that you do as many repetitions of each exercise as you can in a set time, followed by a short rest. The faster you go, the harder you work. And the whole programme can be done in only 7 minutes.
After three gentle warm-up exercises, you start with seven exercises which work each part of you. You start with 30 seconds of each one. There are harder versions of some so pick what’s right for you. You can also work for longer than 30 seconds if your fitness is up to it. If you are going at it hard, then 60 seconds is usually enough for most people. Then rest for 30 seconds or shorter if you are fitter.
You will probably experience some normal muscle soreness a day or two after starting doing home exercises that you are not used to, but this passes quickly. If you have pain on the same day, then you have probably overdone it. In this case, then stop doing the exercises for a few days until you feel more comfortable then start again at a gentler pace.
These exercises will protect your back so can be done even if you have mild back pain. If you have moderate or severe back pain we have a specific exercise programme for that – click here. If you are still having back pain despite this, then get in touch. We can help with free consultations over the phone or by video link. This is working surprisingly well.
You can build this exercise programme into other sorts of exercise too. A walk or a run before or after these home exercises can be very helpful.
Achilles tendonitis is a broad term that is used to describe a recurrent pain below the calf muscles of your leg and coming from the tendon. Sometimes more accurately called Achilles tendinopathy it is a very common injury and most sports people are curious about, whether you are an experienced athlete or someone returning to sports.
For the least experienced of us, the Achilles tendon is a band of tissue linking your calf muscles to the base of your heel. It is very strong and thick to allow you to push through your forefoot when walking, jogging, climbing stairs and doing many more activities.
Achilles tendonitis – how does it get injured and can you prevent it?
A question I am often asked is ” How do I know I have this problem and how did it come on in the first place ?” Well, in the case of Achilles tendonitis the pain slowly increases at the back of the leg and it’s often brought on by specific activities such as climbing stairs or running. If you touch the painful area you might feel thicker tissue compared to the other side. It may be warm when painful and slightly “crunchy” when you are resting.
If you have such symptoms then maybe a simple change in your routine can help you. Think about those things. Do you wear appropriate footwear on a daily basis? Did you change your exercise program or take on a new sport? Are you climbing stairs several times a day? Did you change the surface on which you do your jogging? All those can be factors which could bring on an injury.
Achilles tendonitis treatment at home?
To start with, nothing replaces the diagnosis of a healthcare professional. The following is for information only and you should still seek appropriate advice.
The main thing you should remember is that tendons like movement and activity but don’t heal if left inactive. An injury to a tendon, if not dealt with appropriately, can become a long lasting problem.
These exercises, if performed with NO PAIN, are a good start as self treatment for Achilles tendinopathy.
How can we help Achilles tendonitis?
By making sure that Achilles tendonitis is the right diagnosis. The internet does not carry out a physical examination where as musculoskeletal specialist does. Our physio’s will be able to differentiate between several types of potential injuries affecting similar area and carry out the appropriate treatment.
After 2 weeks it is starting to get chronic. If your pain does not subside within 2 weeks then give us a call. It is often easier to get rid of an ache or pain when it just started!
Further treatments we use for Achilles tendonitis here at Sundial in Brighton may include:-
– Deep tissue friction to the Achilles tendon will activate the renewal of the fibres.
– Laser therapy will reduced any inflammation provoked by the deep tissue friction and encourage tissue healing.
– Dry needling with acupuncture needles around the site of injury to activate the renewal of fibres. This can be an alternative to deep tissue friction.
– Athletics taping (rigid tape) or kinesio taping (stretchy tape) can help to off-load the Achilles tendon during its repair phase.