You’re sitting at your computer for hours and when you finally stand up your right shoulder feels like it’s about to spasm and your back is killing you. Sound familiar? That’s because your computer is trying to kill you. Or at least maim you.
Fear not! Airrosti Rehab Centers to the rescue! Airrosti has an interesting concept; it combines manual therapy with stretching and physical therapy usually reserved for athletes. I started going there two weeks before my show because my shoulder had completely locked up and within 3 sessions it was completely back to normal and feels great today.
The Sports Therapy and Rehab Director, Dr. Reass, assessed my condition and determined the root cause of the pain to be from my time in front of the computer blogging and doing office work for my business.
“The most common problem I see in here is not from car accidents or sports injuries; it’s from computers,” said Dr. Reass. He gave me some tips to share with everyone to mitigate this pain:
5 Tips to Reduce Pain from Computers
- Get up once per hour and walk or stretch for at least one minute. You don’t want your muscles to lock into a position.
- If possible, sit on a stability ball instead of an office chair. It’s cheaper than an ergonomic chair and much more effective because it constantly forces you to readjust your posture and engages your core muscles. (You mean I can get a 6 pack while typing? Yes!)
- If you must use a regular chair, remove the arm rests. Why? Anything that will prop the shoulder will cause the muscles to shorten and make them feel as though they are about to spasm.
- Keep the monitor at about eye level so you are not craning your neck.
- Elevate your wrist if you are using a mouse, so you are not setting your wrist up for carpel tunnel syndrome. You can buy a mouse pad with a wrist support or you can even just fold a wash cloth and place it under your wrist for the added support. Also, the mouse tends to want to move away during the course of the day, so make sure it remains close to the keyboard so you are not stretching for it.
Time to move on to the Active Care Program. I met with Chad Leath, MS, and he showed me several stretches and exercises to help speed my recovery and prevent future injuries. Here are 3 of them:
3 Stretches to Ease Shoulder Pain
- Stretch out your chest muscles. Stand against the wall and form a 90 degree angle with your arm. Draw in your core muscles and slowly lean forward until a slight stretch is felt in the the front shoulder and chest region. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
- Stand next to a wall and place a lacrosse ball between the wall and your shoulder blade. Press against the ball, rolling it back and forth so it massages your shoulder muscles. Do on both sides for 30 seconds.
- Do a Brueggers stretch with a band. This one is tricky to explain, so here is a video clip demonstrating the exercise: http://vimeo.com/airrosti/review/58111126/c9cf9550b6
Hope you found these tips helpful! If you are in the Austin area and have a sports (or computer!) injury, I highly recommend Airrosti Rehab Centers:
- Airrosti Rehab Centers/ Great Oaks Family Practice
- 15930 Great Oaks Dr.
- Round Rock, TX 78681
- (800) 404-6050
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