You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?
Hunching forward to get a better view of your computer screen or mobile is one of the major causes of muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Even using your computer mouse for hours on end can contribute.
Stress is another major player in the muscle tension stakes, by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to muscles, nerves, and tendons. The resultant build-up of toxins causes that well-known ache and even headache associated with muscle and body tension.
But, don't worry! You don’t need to quit your day job and go into seclusion on a hillside in Tibet to escape from muscular tension.
We have the answers.
1. Massage Relieves Muscle Tension
As well as having numerous other health benefits, massage is a proven tension reliever.
Take the time to get a relaxing massage or invest in a massage chair to do the trick while watching your favorite show.
2. Heat does the trick
A warm pad is one of the quickest ways to relieve neck pain. Heat causes your muscle fibers to relax and ‘unties’ all those uncomfortable tension-related knots.
Soaking in a warm bath or taking a hot shower is just the trick for an all over relaxing body treatment too.
3. Low impact Exercise
Have you ever tried stretching your neck down to your shoulder to relieve the tension there? It doesn’t work, does it?
When you do this unfamiliar movement, your brain goes on high alert and lock the muscles down even tighter to prevent further strain.
Effective stretching should involve gentle gradual movements and even these aren’t enough on their own. Regular low impact exercise such as Yoga and Pilates are great tension relievers.
4. Quick fix anti-stress busters
The breathing techniques used in yoga will do a great deal for your state of mind – canceling out the effects that stress has on your muscles.
Try some of these yoga-based tricks the next time you feel that familiar stress-related muscle tension creeping up:
- Part your lips to unclench your jaw muscles
- Un-hunch your shoulders to spread your collar bones and lift your chest
- Take deep belly-breaths and exhale slowly
5. Work on your posture
Now let’s address the enemy right in front of us. Hunching over your mobile phone or computer screen places an unbelievable strain on your neck, shoulder and back muscles.
While you're sitting at your desk, move your head back, in line with your spine and imagine yourself being gently pulled upwards. The relief will be instant as everything falls back into place.
Now, make a habit of staying in that position while you work. Lifting your computer screen will help you to achieve this.
When you look at your phone, bend your elbows, prop them against your rib cage and lift your phone closer to your face. Use your eyes to read the screen without moving your whole head.
It doesn’t end when you shut down your PC either, get your head aligned properly before you drift off to sleep too.
Bad posture is a habit you cannot afford if you want to avoid muscle tension.
Have Your Say!
Tried any of these muscle relieving techniques? Got any nuggets of information up your sleeve?
Let us know which tension-beating tactics work for you in the comments section below!