Massage Therapy for headaches/shoulder and neck stiffness and pain syndrome in an office worker

Hello friends! I am Mamta Bhatt and I am R.M.T.(registered Massage Therapist) practicing in Mississauga area at Candlestick Massage therapy. In my practice this syndrome of headaches.shoulder/neck stiffness pain I see in almost 40-50% of my clients who are typically office jobs desk-bound,computer-bound if I say chained to their desks and computers it will not be an exaggeration at all!. Typical presentation is person working at the desk job, working on a computer for 8-10 hours and almost locked in sitting position for so many hours.

Now according to me and very well backed by orthopedic science ‘life is movement and movement is life’. When we keep moving the muscles, joints then the movement itself keeps blood supply to the area going on..removes the toxic waste short keeps the local economy robust and healthy. And this helps the overall economy of the organism healthy and robust.

What happens if we don’t move our body for prolonged periods of time?

Important property of muscle is a rubber band it is capable of becoming long and short within a normal range. Movement facilitates this normal property of the muscle. Well then it is quite logical to understand that muscle becomes inelastic or stiff or tight when we don’t move it at regular intervals. So then cascade of other changes take place..tight stiff muscle chokes on its own blood supply and collects more of waste products. Resulting in ‘tight knots’ also known as ‘trigger points’ which are painful knots and also make pain radiate to larger areas further away from its origin..example tight knots in your neck muscle which helps you move your neck around, look behind your shoulder to check for blind spots may radiate pain to your head..behind the ears, forehead etc.

Because of constant work on a computer the muscles in the front of the chest too become tight and develop knots and the pain is often referred to the upper back. Also the muscle located on the top of your shoulder (used for lifting your shoulders as in shrugging your shoulders) develops knots and gives pain in the top of your shoulders.

There are many more muscles which become tight.

If we don’t remedy the knots by regular movements, stretching exercises then the tight muscles can next choke the nerves underneath. Resulting pain limits the movements of the joints around and ruins the economy of joints too. This has a snowballing effect and causes stress, insomnia,anxiety…and that again creates more stiff muscles..more pain resulting in a vicious cycle.

As a massage therapist my job is first and foremost destressing and relaxing the tight and stiff muscles. I always work within the comfort level of my client. Improving blood supply of the affected area by myofascial techniques, releasing knots (Trigger points) ,application of heat to facilitate this and always providing stretch to the affected muscle(s). Joint mobilization techniques to improve the economy of the joints are coupled to bring lasting relief and improving sense of wellbeing from resulting pain relief and improvement of Range of motion.

I always begin my treatment by taking through health history . Followed by rigorous assessment which helps me pin point the source of problem and helps me develop a treatment plan/strategy. My treatment is then followed by set of exercises for the particular client.

I am giving a few neck/chest stretches which can be beneficial to everyone..but ‘Life is movement and movement is life’ can never be overemphasized..


Neck Flex:img1
Sit up straight in your chair. For support, rest your left forearm against your lower back.
Gently drop your chin toward your chest. when you feel the stretch, hold for ___ seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat ___ times.
Caution: Don’t force your head down. Pull slowly, letting gravity help.
Tension Release:img2
Sit up straight in your chair. Tuck your chin slightly and tilt your head to the left, with your chin down and to the right.
Placing your left hand on the upper right side of your head, gently pull your head to the left. Hold for ___ seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat ___ times on each side.
Caution: Don’t force your head down. Pull slowly, letting gravity help.
Shoulder Squeeze:img3
Raise your arms to your sides until they’re parallel with the floor. Bend your elbows, keeping them at shoulder height.
Push your arms backward and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for ___ seconds. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat ___ times.
Caution: Don’t arch your back. Don’t hunch your shoulders.

(Courtsy : © Krames Communications)


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