I've changed jobs recently and I now sit in front of a computer between 6-8 hours a day. My back, arms and chest are so sore from typing all day long. What can I do to relieve some of the pain and the tension in these body parts? In Pain Jane
Dear In Pain Jane
This is a common problem for 9-5'ers who are stuck sitting in an office all day. Your neck, upper back and pectoral muscles are significantly overused and are constantly battling to pull your shoulders back.
By sitting in the natural typing position, you're working against your rotators and forcing your arms and shoulders forward, toward the keyboard. This results in; strained muscles, headaches, tingling in your thumbs, and oftentimes can create small tears in your upper back muscles.
The major muscles you should concentrate on strengthening are your rhomboids and both your lower and upper back muscles. The smaller muscle groups are your posterior deltoids, infraspinous and lower trapezoids.
Try and open up your pectoral muscles. Do neck rolls, range of motion exercises and take a gentle yoga class to build and stretch your muscles. Also, spend an hour or so with a moist heating pad on your shoulders, neck and back. Try to get regular massages if/when you feel anything pinching.