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neck, shoulders & trunk WHY STRETCH?


Due to our increasingly inactive and deskbound lifestyles resulting from our growing use of computers and labour saving devices such as cars, the incidence of postural problems has risen dramatically. Avoiding bad postural habits while sitting at a desk is very important. Most back and neck problems occur due to weaknesses and imbalances in the muscles used to maintain the shape of your spine. These include your neck, back, shoulder and stomach muscles.


This leaflet includes a few stretches designed to keep your muscles flexible and in good balance with each other. It is a good idea to do three or four stretches every hour, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting during your day.


It is also important to make sure that your chair, desk and computer are set up correctly so that you are not altering your posture to compensate for a bad position. If you think this may be the case, speak to your occupational health department, nurse or physiotherapist at your place of work. They will help with advice and, where appropriate, equipment modifications.


YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME This programme has specific exercises to help stretch and strengthen muscles which may be weak. It is really important to ensure the exercises are performed with good technique and good postural control. Make sure you are pain-free at all times and take care not to progress too quickly.


Where appropriate repeat the exercises on both sides. We have given suggested sets and repetitions, but everyone is different so your practitioner may give guidance that is more specific to you.


Image showing some of the neck muscles


MAKE SURE TO WARM UP AND COOL DOWN If muscles are tight, weak or injured, it is particularly important to warm up (unless advised otherwise by your practitioner) with a fast walk or a gentle jog at a pain-free pace for 5 minutes before you start your exercises. This increases your circulation and helps prepare the muscles for the activity to come. When you have finished your exercises, end the session with a 5 minute gentle walk or slow jog to allow your heart rate to slow down gradually.


The muscles which help in pulling the


shoulder blades together


Top of the erector spinae muscle which runs down the length of the back


©2011 Primal Pictures Ltd Levator scapulae


helps extend the neck


and lift the shoulder blade


HOME EXERCISE PRODUCTS


Therapy Bands - unlooped http://spxj.nl/zA8cs3 Therapy Bands - looped http://spxj.nl/zg9k8V Gym Balls http://spxj.nl/xwcImU


All products are accompanied by video demonstrations online. For other products visit the PhysioSupplies website http://spxj.nl/ykRdi5


Wobble Boards http://spxj.nl/zlM2aM Ice Packs http://spxj.nl/A5tglZ Exercise Mats http://spxj.nl/yvsAOw


Hand Weights http://spxj.nl/xHElIQ Home Fitness http://spxj.nl/wxL1ae Orthopaedic Supports http://spxj.nl/y2aePC


The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of the contents of this article.


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