Does your desk job cause immense discomfort in the form of back or neck pain? Probably it your posture or the height of the chair or desk that causes this issue. But, if you do not pay heed to the problem, then it may worsen. Sitting in the wrong posture such as hunching your back and slumping in your seat can cause back, neck, and shoulder muscles to tighten. Research shows that if people doing desk jobs perform regular stretching exercises, it can help reduce back, neck, and shoulder pain. Stretching and frequent breaks in between work not only relaxes your muscles but also increases your productivity. So, here are five stretching exercises, that exercise therapy professional recommend to desk job workers:
1) Chest Stretch
Being hunched over a desk for an entire day can cause pain in your back and neck. But, you can gain some relief by performing chest stretch. You can perform a chest stretch while sitting, as well as standing. If you are in a seated position, stretch your arms in the air and lace your fingers together. Lift your hands up until you feel a stretch in your chest and hold it for 10-20 seconds.
2) Upper Back Stretch
When you work in the same posture for hours, the upper back muscle tighten, causing pain. Performing an upper back stretch can help you loosen the muscles and also improve your posture. All you need to do is stretch your arms and rotate your hands with the palms facing away from each other. Cross your arms in such a way that the palms are pressed together. Then contract the abs, round the back and relax your head as you reach away. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds.
3) Torso Stretch
Desk job workers often find themselves in a hunched position, which causes pain in the back. Exercises like torso stretch will stretch all the muscles in your back, arms and shoulders. It is pretty easy to perform. All you have to do is as you just have to lace your fingers together and stretch them with the palm facing the ceiling. Take a deep breath as you stretch, then exhale and open your arms and come back to your normal posture. Repeat this 7-8 times for relief.
4) Forearm Stretch
Typing for a long time causes tension in your forearm muscles. Simple exercises can help you relax your forearm muscles and your wrists. Stretch your arms out and turn the hand down so that the fingers face the ground. Now, gently pull the fingers as though pulling something towards you. You’ll experience a stretch in your forearms and your fingers. Hold it for 10-20 seconds.
5) Seated Hip Stretch
Sitting in the same place for long hours tightens your hip muscles. This stretch can help you open up your hip and glute muscles. You have to perform this exercise in a sitting position. Cross the left ankle over the right knee and sit straight. Keeping the back straight, gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your torso. Hold it for 10-20 seconds and repeat with your right ankle over the left knee.
At InHome physical therapy and massage, we understand your hectic schedules, which often come in way of personal care. If you have been suffering from back, neck, and shoulder pain due to your monotonous routine, then contact us today. We offer physical and exercise therapy, as well as massage therapy, in the comfort of your home.
Massage therapy was used as a healing method in ancient history. It began as a sacred system of natural healing. The history of massage has its footprint in both the eastern and western civilization, where our ancient ancestors found that massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and cure illnesses. Today, massage therapy is an alternative method of healthcare practiced across the world. Here’s how massage therapy has emerged as a relaxing and therapeutic practice today.
How Massage Therapy Evolved
Egyptians discovered reflexology in 2500 BCE. In reflexology, pressure is applied to reflex zones on the feet and hands in order to relieve pain. Written records of the benefits of massage therapy were discovered in China in 2700 BCE. The history of massage in China is based on the principle that diseases arise due to an imbalance in your physiological systems. These techniques of Chinese massage therapy include acupuncture and acupressure that helps to regulate energy harmoniously throughout the body. Athletes in Greece derived massage therapy from Eastern philosophies and practices. It progressed in Greece in the eighth century BCE. The primary goal of massage therapy in Greece was to keep the bodies of athletes in peak condition before competitions. In Greece, massage therapy was employed using herbs and aromatic oils as beauty treatments on their skin.
Massage Therapy in the West
The history of massage therapy in the West takes us back to the colonial times. In America, massage therapy came into practice in the 1900s. The progress in the massage therapy industry was influenced by national and world events, advances in science and medicine, and religious and social movements. The following were the key contributors to the success of massage therapy that we see today.
Rubber was used in America in colonial times. It had a great influence on massage therapy. The basic techniques of using rubber were simple but were modified to produce different effects. Massage therapy using rubber includes joint movements to increase a wide range of motion to release muscle tensions.
In America, during the 1900s, magnetism was introduced into massage therapy. Magnets were used by passing them over the body with or without contact. In several cases, light touch and strokes were used to stimulate vital energy.
Hydropathy was introduced to massage therapy a few decades later. Bath attendants would use rubbing and friction as a part of the healing treatment. This led to the origin of spa services today, such as body wraps and scrubs.
Massage therapy went through a period of transformation between 1970 and 2000. It was looked upon as a medium to revive the body with natural healing. Apart from that, new approaches from Asia - including acupressure from China, Shiatsu from Japan and Ayurvedic massage from India - were followed in the US. The need for an alternative medicine contributed to the development of massage therapy that included diverse massage techniques. The history of massage has been instrumental to the current methods of treatment, with the benefits of massage therapy now clearer to all now than ever before.
Photo Credit: Nick J Webb
Massage therapy includes everything from surgical recovery support to foot massages (yes, like the ones performed at a nail salon!). As the demand for massage therapy grows, massage therapists are increasingly catering to this demand by providing unique services like mobile massages to their clients. So what does the future of massage therapy hold? We believe it is exciting and full of possibilities!
Courses on massage therapy have changed over the years, from a one-year diploma offered in private vocational schools in 1935 into a two-year degree program offered in colleges accredited by the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA). If all goes as planned, by 2020, the National Accreditation Planning Committee will review and accredit "all programs in the regulated provinces and up to 12 programs in the (currently) non-regulated provinces." It goes without saying that this will enhance and streamline course content to a much higher quality that we see today. Additionally, this will further increase the credibility of massage therapy courses and programs and therefore see a growth in students opting for these courses.
As more and more people look towards alternative, non-pharmacological interventions for pain management, there will be a higher demand for massage therapists. Massage therapy is also the fastest growing sector for the spa industry, which itself is experiencing a high growth rate of an estimated 15-16 percent per year. The end result - there are going to be jobs aplenty for massage therapists in the next five to ten years.
Personal Care Massage
Personal care styles of massage are beginning to converge in medical spas. Medical spas provide similar services as traditional spas but while employing licensed healthcare providers, including massage therapists. Treatments at medical spas will address not only beauty and wellness enhancement, but also various health problems. Therefore, medical spas will increasingly require practitioners with the skill base to accomplish spas’ advertised healthcare massage services.
Thanks to the growing demand, massage franchise businesses are likely to grow in the coming decades. Many massage therapists will take advantage of established massage therapy brands to leverage their processes and business acumen while making the most of their skills and qualifications.
Massage therapy is a risky industry due to the amount of physical contact required in everyday business activities. There could be a chance that a client may misconstrue a routine procedure as something inappropriate. Additionally, incorrectly performed massage or unfortunate incidents may lead to accidental injuries during therapy. Thus, the future may see an increase in more customized insurance policies.
The future of massage therapy is bright. If you’re looking to make a career or start a business in massage therapy, contact InHome Physical Therapy and Massage, and we’ll help you with some more insights!
Massage therapy helps to keep an athlete’s body healthy and toned for an extended period. Many of the young athletes invest a considerable amount of money in their health, well-being, and physical training. But, seldom they know that massage therapy contributes much to prepare, soothe, and strengthen their muscles for optimal athletic performance in the future. Massage therapy provides many benefits to young athletes. It helps release muscle tensions, spasms, and pain. Let’s have a look at the five ways how sports massage therapy can benefit young athletes:
1. Reduces Muscles Tension and Spasms
If your muscles become stiff and sore due to an injury or rigorous training, then massage therapy helps alleviate the pain by releasing the tension built up in tissues and stripping the muscles of any toxins causing stiffness. Furthermore, massage therapy tones the muscles by stimulating natural reflexes found within muscle fibres.
2. Helps Treat Injuries
Injuries are common among athletes. Young athletes are always exposed to the risk of sprains, strains, and collisions. Massage therapy can treat the flexibility of muscles in case of injuries to high-risk body areas like the knee, lower back, and the rotator cuff. Also, going for a massage lessens the possibility of injury apart from helping injured young athletes to recover faster.
3. Prevents Adhesions
When a muscle tears, a fibrous tissue develops and that is known as adhesion. Adhesion in the muscle fibers restricts the muscle’s full range of motion. Transverse massage strokes prevents adhesions from occurring in between muscle fibres. If the adhesions build up then it can lead to muscle knots and further problems. Massage therapy can release these adhesions, thus improving muscle flexibility and range of motion.
4. Offers mental relaxation and strength
Massage therapy has a stimulating and sedative effect on the nervous system. Thus, creating a more mentally focussed athlete. Massage therapy helps to improve coordination between your mental and physical attributes, as it gives relaxation to your muscles by reducing pain caused by surgery, injury or chronic problems. Massage therapy manipulates the body muscles and soft tissues to relieve pain and decrease stress. It helps lower blood pressure and heart rate, thus reducing the strain on your heart and maintain a healthier blood circulatory system.
An athlete should have a high degree of flexibility to perform well irrespective of the sport to which they are associated. Sports massage therapy is designed to increase an athlete’s strength, stamina, agility, speed, endurance, and flexibility. You should approach a massage therapist who can help you with any injuries and improve your flexibility and muscle strength so that you can perform better and excel in your sport.
Physical therapy and massage therapy have the same goal - to restore muscle strength and relieve pain. Both of the therapies use soft tissue manipulation to help treat the condition and release the stress within muscles. Sometimes, people are in a dilemma as to which one to choose for their condition. No doubt both of the therapies can give you rewarding results. But, you should know that each one is apt for certain conditions. In this article, we’ll highlight when and in what conditions you require physiotherapy and massage therapy.
Conditions Where Physical Therapy Benefits
Headache Caused Due to Posture Problem
Most of you may not be aware that sometimes headache may be related to an issue in your neck, upper back, or your posture. Your physiotherapist can determine the problem area and treat it with techniques and exercises to ensure you never suffer a headache because of it.
Problems Caused Due to Obesity
In some cases, obesity and fatness causes the body to become inactive after a point of time. Physical therapy can help lose weight through exercise programs, so that that your body muscles don’t become stressed and immobile. Physical therapy also includes strengthening exercises that helps treat any secondary aches and pains that occurs due to obesity.
Lumbar Disc Injuries
Lower back or lumbar disc injuries is the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions. Lower back pain is the leading cause why most of the people give up their work and other critical activities in life. Most of the types of lumbar disc injuries are treated with the help of physiotherapy. Physical therapy helps you deal with the pain and gradually treats the condition and improves mobility in the area.
Conditions Where Massage Therapy Benefits
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Excessive strain on your body and occasional wrong sleeping positions can put the wrist into an awkward position for extended periods. In this condition, where your tendons and nerves are compressed, you may experience tingling pain and weakness in your arms and hands. Massage therapy uses postural correction techniques and reduces tension in muscles, thereby relieving pain in the area.
Lifting something heavy or while playing sports can result in pressure on your muscles, leading to small muscle tears. This results in bruising, swelling, and weakness of your muscle. Applying ice pack on the affected area can reduce the swelling and pain. But, massage therapy can relieve you permanantly of such muscle strains. With gentle strokes and techniques, massage therapy helps release tensions by focusing on improving circulation in the area.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)
RSIs includes conditions like Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that can occur while indulging in strenuous workout or being in a posture for long hours. For instance during work or while playing sports. Mechanical compression and extended hours at work can contribute to the development of RSIs. Rest and medication help to alleviate symptoms. But, massage therapy helps patients to create a self-care plan that can include stretching or strengthening exercises. This helps improve blood circulation in the area, releasing the stress and promoting mobility and flexibility.
Massage therapy and physiotherapy are considered an important part of preventive care programs. With proper diet and exercise, massage and physical therapy prove to be beneficial not only for injury rehabilitation, but also for preventive care. If you are suffering chronic pain and unable to get relief, then consult a physiotherapist to help you out.
Some of the best physical exercises for your body don’t require you to go to the gym. Simple physical activities that can be synced with your daily routine can do wonders to your body and health. They can help you to keep your weight under control, improve your muscle strength and flexibility, strengthen your bones, prevent bladder control issues, and even improve your mental strength. Your age and fitness level hardly matters when doing these physical activities to help you get in shape and lower your risk for problems. Let’s have a look at some common exercises you can try at home to improve physical strength.
1. Bench Step Up
Bench Step Up is one of the most widely used exercises to improve physical strength and endurance. You can perform this exercise easily at home. To do this exercise, you can use a bench, on which when you step a foot your knee bends to a 90 degree angle. Simply step onto the bench and step off. But, make sure that you can balance your body when stepping on and off the bench. Repeat the action at least 10 times with each foot.
Hopping helps release muscle tension and improves endurance. It also helps improve coordination between your foot, ankle, calf, and hip muscles. The movements between the muscles are very similar to that of running. Try to hop as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Swap your feet and repeat the exercise on the other leg. You can slightly adjust this by bouncing from one foot to the other.
Inchworm helps manage your body-weight. This exercise helps to improve body balance, muscle flexibility and strength. You can practice it at home without the help of machinery. Straighten your legs and stand up tall. Bend forward and touch the floor with your your fingertips. Next, keep your legs straight, parallel to the floor and put your hands forward. Take tiny steps so that your feet meet up your hands, and repeat this exercise.
Walking is the simplest exercise that you can do to improve physical strength. It improves cholesterol levels, strengthens your bones, and lowers the risk of a number of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Walking improves memory as it helps resist age-related memory loss. Walk for about 10-15 minutes at a time. All you require is a well fitting pair of walking shoes. Try to walk for 30-60 minutes on most days of a week.
While these were some, indulging in activities like jogging, dancing, and playing with your kids can also improve your physical stamina. If you suffer from any muscle, joint, and other body problems, you may contact us at InHome Physical Therapy and Massage. We offer physical and exercise therapy in the comfort of your home.