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Simply strengthen

With the lockdown confining us to our homes to quell the spread of the coronavirus, we have been forced to reset our lives.

Published: 29th July 2020 06:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2020 11:44 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: With the lockdown confining us to our homes to quell the spread of the coronavirus, we have been forced to reset our lives. Organisations, too, have adapted to the work-from-home routine that requires many of us to sit in front of the laptop screen and other work-related gadgets for gruelling hours on end. Sadly, the new pandemic-induced slouch has found miserable company in stiffness of the neck, shoulders and back.

No wonder then, with fewer opportunities to be physically active and abundant excuses to be sedentary, complaints of physical distress are becoming common. Concerned about the impact of this inactivity, physiotherapist Harisankara Varma Raja of Raja’s Physiotherapy Clinic, a former physiotherapist to the Indian Olympic contingent and Indian national boxing team, suggests a few indoor upper-body exercises to relieve neck and shoulder pain at home.

“We usually suggest three sets of exercises. In the first set, we focus on warming up the muscles. The second set activates the muscles, and the third gives the stretch and relief. If your muscles are strong enough, go for more rounds as it gives more relaxation.” These are ideal exercises to be performed in limited space without equipment.

The home-office has become a reason for pain than pleasure for many working professionals as gruelling hours keep them glued to the screens. Physiotherapist Harisankara Varma Raja recommends eight exercises to alleviate slouch-induced aches in the upper bod

AROM (ARTIFICIAL RUPTURE OF MEMBRANES) CERVICAL CIRCUMDUCTION

Steps

  1. Sit or stand, looking straight, maintaining a proper posture.
  2. Gently roll head in circles to left, and then to right, as shown.

Note: Do not bend the neck backwards.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest one minute before sets.
  • Perform one repetition every four seconds.

Benefits

Trapezius muscle (the muscle that holds neck to the shoulder) gets relaxed. It has three fibres — upper, middle, and lower. The upper and middle gets stretched in this exercise. This reduces stiffness in the neck.

AROM CERVICAL DIAGONALS SIT/STAND

Steps

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable posture.
  2. Turn your head, look up to the left.
  3. Then look down to the right.
  4. Repeat in other direction.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for a minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every 4 seconds

Benefits

Sternocleidomastoid (neck muscle) and trapezius muscle get stretched. It heals the stiffness in the neck.

Photos: Sunish P Surendran

AROM CERVICAL EXTENSION SIT

Steps

  1. Sit or stand in a a good posture.
  2. Move chin up facing the ceiling, without bending the trunk.
  3. Return to start position.
  4. Move in a pain-free range

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for one minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every second.

Benefits

The upper and middle fibres of the trapezius muscle is involved. Spinal mobilisation is also taken into consideration. Seven vertebrae from the spinal cord will get a good stretch.

AROM SHOULDER EXTERNAL & INTERNAL ROTATION FOR SUPRASPINATUS

Steps

  1. Lie on your back with arms away on either side.
  2. Bend elbow to about 45 degrees.
  3. Rotate arm inward and outward.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for one minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every four seconds.

Benefits

Supraspinatus is the smallest of the four muscles which comprise the rotator cuff of the shoulder joint specifically in the supraspinatus fossa. The internal and external rotation eases a painful shoulder and reduces stiffness.

AROM SHOULDER ABDOMEN BILATERAL

Steps

  1. Sit or stand with arms stretched out, palms forward.
  2. Lift arms out and upward above the head, as shown.
  3. Return to start position.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for one minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every four seconds.

Benefits

The infraspinatus is a portion of the rotator cuff muscles that is composed of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. The muscles of the rotator cuff provide opposing forces to balance the movement of the shoulder. This is a good exercise for those who sit for long hours in front of the system.

AROM SHOULDER RETRACT BILATERAL SIT

Steps

  1. Sit in a proper posture.
  2. Raise arms to shoulder level, bend elbows on the side.
  3. Squeeze shoulder blades together, and then relax.

Note: Keep elbows bent.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for a minute between sets.
  • Perform one rep every 4 seconds.

Benefits

This forward and backward movement of shoulder joints eases the tightness and stiffness in the shoulder blades.

AROM SHOULDER ABDOMEN BILATERAL AT WALL

Steps

  1. Stand against a wall.
  2. Raise arms out to the side with elbows bent.
  3. Keep arms against the wall.
  4. Continue to raise arms and keep them straight above your head.
  5. Tighten abdominal muscles to flatten lower back against the wall.
  6. Return to start position and repeat.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for one minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every second.

Benefits

The infraspinatus is a portion of the rotator cuff muscles that is composed of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. The muscles of the rotator cuff provide opposing
forces to balance the movement of the shoulder. This is a good exercise for those who sit for long hours in front of the system.

AROM CERVICAL FLEXION SIT/STAND

Steps

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable posture.
  2. Move chin down towards your chest.
  3. Return to start position.

Note: Move in a pain-free range.

Instructions

  • Perform three sets of 20 repetitions, once a day.
  • Rest for one minute between sets.
  • Perform one repetition every four seconds.

Benefits

The upper, middle, and lower fibre of the trapezius muscle are involved. Spinal mobilisation is also taken into consideration. Seven vertebrae of the spinal cord get a good stretch.

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