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Posted on 02-16-2014

From the desk of Dr. Mike Tannenbaum, D.C.

As a Chiropractor in Ann Arbor, located near a technology corridor, I treat a lot of patients that spend much of their work day in a stressful environment typing away on their computers. Many of these patients see me because they experience chronic neck pain, upper back pain and related tingling and numbness in their arms and hands. These conditions are often caused by the computer work the patients do and are compounded by a stressful work environment. Using Chiropractic treatment protocols I have considerable success helping these people. To compliment the Chiropractic treatment and to maintain the improvements made through Chiropractic, I give the patients self-care exercises/techniques. These techniques can also used used with or without Chiropractic to reduce neck pain, upper back pain and to help one avoid neck pain and upper back pain. The techniques are as follows:

1. Be Aware of Your Posture: While at work every hour or so check your posture to make sure it is correct. (There is a lot of information on the web showing correct posture.)

2. Relaxing: Every hour or so while at work check to make sure you are not tightening your neck and upper back muscles. If you find that you are tightening, make a conscious/mental effort to relax those muscles.

3. Neck Stretches:

A. Chin to Chest (Flexion) - Slowly lower chin down to your chest and hold for 12 seconds.

B. Lean your head back (Extension) - Lower your head back to end range of motion (where you can't go any further without producing pain) and hold for 12 seconds.

C. Right Ear to Shoulder (Lateral Bend) - Lower your right ear towards your right shoulder and hold for 12 seconds.

D. Left Ear to Shoulder (Lateral Bend) - Lower your left ear towards your left shoulder and hold for 12 seconds.

E. Rotate Head to Right - Slowly turn your head to the right to end range of motion.

F. Rotate Head to Left - Slowly turn your head to the left to end range of motion.

4. Shoulder Stretch and Relaxation:

Shrug your shoulders to as close to the height of your ears as possible and hold 3 seconds. While holding this position bring your shoulders back so that you feel your chest muscles stretching and then let yourself relax allowing your shoulders to go back to their starting position. Repeat 8 times.

5. Upper Back Stretch (and neck):

Place your arms straight out in front of you and rotate the palms of your hands away from each other. While holding this position bend at the middle of your back and bring you chin to your chest. Hold this position for 15 seconds and repeat one time.

The above stretches and relaxation techniques should be done daily.

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