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Episode 53: Eliminate Computer Pain

Video Highlights

- The impact of daily stress on posture.
- Two simple exercises to reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.
- The specific frequency needed to get the most benefit.

Hi everybody, Dr. Cobb back with you.

I hope that you’re having a fantastic week.

What I want to do this week is do something super-practical. I want to talk to you about trap pain, upper trap pain.

So many people complain about neck and shoulder pain throughout the day. They’re at their computer, sitting at the desk, and they’re like “ah” by the end of the day, or they get in the car, fighting bad traffic et cetera.

What we typically see is what we call the startle response posture in so many people, which means that throughout the day, as their stress goes up, they move closer and closer into caveman posture.

Their shoulders come up. Their head comes forward. They wind up creating a lot of stress, a lot of tension through the neck and shoulders, and often that will lead to some pain. We have a lot of drills that can impact on that.

We’re going to do two today. I want you to give it a shot and see how they impact you. The thing about this is you have to do it fairly regularly, probably every two or three hours throughout the day. Set a timer. Give it a shot. What the payoff may be is a lot less discomfort at the end of the day.

The first thing we want to do is warm up the trap and upper chest with some deep breathing. We’re going to take two or three deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose. Try and bring the air into your abdomen first and fill up, all the way to the point that almost like your shoulders are having to lift. We’re going to really fill up the top apex of the lung. Do that a couple of times. Breathe out.

You can even put your hands here. Abdomen first, deep breaths all the way up into the top of the chest, and exhale. Now, if you start to get dizzy, stop for a second, catch your breath. Usually three or four breaths to prime this area, and you should already start to feel a little bit more relaxed.

Now, once you’ve done that, here is the exercise. It’s pretty simple. There are only a few movements, but you’re going to have to go carefully. When you do these, I want to make sure that you don’t overstretch the nerves or any other tissue.

I want you to think about one out of 10 intensity scale and keep it around a three. That’s going to be our agreement. You’re going to keep it at a three.

Here’s how the exercise is done. You’re going to start off in your left shoulder. You’re going to pull your left shoulder back, so think about your shoulder blade going back.

Then I also want you to pull it down slightly, so back and down. Now from here, tilt your head away. Then you’re going to act like a chicken. You’re going to push your head forward slightly, just so you start to get a fairly intense, weird little stretch feel here, and then flex your head down. Then back up. I like to get into this initial position, and then just move my head up and down.

It’s a really light mobilization, but you should feel it really specifically right through the shoulder. Now if you have any kind of weird tingling anywhere in your arms or whatever, you’re probably going too strong when you do the stretch, so back off a little bit and modify it.

Once again, we’ll go to the other side now. We’re going to pull the shoulder blade back, pull it down a little bit, and tilt your head away. Now chicken forward, and then down. There we go.

That little stretch, just these nice little mobilizations, and then you come back up. Now, the last thing that we’re going to do if you want to intensify it, you’re going to reset up on your left shoulder, so shoulder blade back, shoulder blade down a little bit. Head away, head forward. Stop here, take a big breath in. Hold that. Three or four little repetitions … As you exhale, you come out of it.

What you typically will find is that when you inhale and make that area a little bit bigger, the stretch will be a little bit more intense, but often, if you exhale then, as you do your nods, it will be more relaxing.

Give that a shot this week. I hope that it makes your neck and shoulders feel much better and gives you a lot more energy at the end of the day.

If you have any questions about this, please let us know.

Other than that, I look forward to talking to you soon.

Thanks.

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