Living Pain Free Today!
How are you?
In the last three emails I’ve been talking about
neck pain, some of the symptoms you have to look
for and the answers to get rid of your pain.
So today I’m going to cover:
Exercises for Your Upper Back and Neck!Let’s cover three things you can do right now. Asyou’re reading this email, sit and try them. If you
do you’ll start to feel the stretch and how your
muscles can RELAX.
1) Shoulder Release
It’s easier to do this move if you’re standing,
but you might be able to do it at your desk
depending on the shape of your chair.
If your boss is watching, or your soulmate,
tell them what you’re doing if you don’t want
to get a strange look.
Stand tall, reach both hands behind you and
clasp them together at the base of your low back.
Then GENTLY push your hands toward the floor. Your
shoulders will automatically “square” and your
chest will expand as you do so.
Take 5 slow, deep breaths and push your
hands a bit further down with each inhale.
Even if you can’t go far, try to push your
hands toward the floor anyway. It’ll deepen
After five breaths, relax and release your
hands.Repeat this sequence at least twice a day.
Remember do this everyday.
2) Neck Releases and Mobility
While sitting tall, rotate your head as far
to the right and then as far to the left as you
comfortably can. Hold each for 20-60 seconds while
Tilt your head to the right as you pretend to
lift your left ear to the ceiling, and then repeat
to the left as you lift your right ear to the
ceiling. Hold each for 20-60 seconds while
Since you’re probably sitting in an office
chair, run the base of your head from one side to
the other as though you were sliding along the top
of your chair. Keep your body still and move only
your head and neck.
No tilting your head!
3) Sit Tall
Posture is extremely important for desk jockeys.
Sitting straight is extremely important for your health,
The average head weighs 8 to 12 lbs (3.6 to 5.4
kg), and most desk jockeys sit with theirs jutted
forward like a turtle.
I’m not kidding.
You probably do it too.
Holding this position is extremely hard on your
neck and upper back muscles. The end result is
the symptoms we discussed in a prior email.
Just let me say it’s not a good thing to do.
But despite striving for great posture, none of
us will achieve perfect compliance.
So what’s the solution?
Feet flat on the floor.
Knees bent at a 90 degree angle, or slightly
The majority of your weight rests on your
An imaginary line drawn up the side of your
body runs perpendicular to the floor, through your
hip, shoulder, and the hole in your ear. Take a
picture to see how close you are to this ideal.
(everyone has a camera in their smartphone, so
have someone take a picture of your posture.)
Sit tall in your chair with your shoulders
back. Your head sits directly between your
shoulders rather than sliding forward to sit over
your lap. Mutant ninja turtles are cool, but desk
jockey turtles are just geeks with BAD, BAD posture.
Elbows rest close to your sides, bent at or
slightly greater than 90 degrees.
Hands rest comfortably on your keyboard,
similar to the angle they’d be in if you were
resting them on your legs. (get someone to check
the way you look after you apply this to your
Wrists are held neutral or bent back 15 to 20
degrees. The same advice holds true when using a
Avoid reaching far to the front or off to
the side for a mouse–it puts needless stress on
your shoulder and neck and stress is bad for your
The top of your computer monitor is level
with your eyebrows, and the screen sits directly
in front of you.
Set your chair at a height that allows all of
the above to line up.
Simple steps like good posture build long-term
habits. You have to understand how powerful
doing this can be.
You’ll experience instant relief.
But do be aware that it can take time to correct
The desk jockey issues you’re experiencing are the
result of chronic and repetitive habits, some of
which you’ve been reinforcing for years.
If change isn’t immediate, keep at it. Remember
that even a few minutes a day makes a difference
toward achieving greater productivity, greater
rewards, and much more enjoyment in your work and
Thanks again for taking your time to read my emails.
I’ll send you another email next week, but this time
I’m going to really have some fun, so be prepared.
Dr. Sophie Jacob, DC