Pain Relief Protocol

Do you have pain in your neck and back from consistently being in the same position?

If so, we need to start by talking about posture. Just hearing the word probably made you shift your weight a little in your seat—maybe you sat up a little straighter or stuck your chest out a little more. Either way, congrats! You’ve already taken the first step in reducing your pain.

When it comes to pain or tight muscles caused by prolonged use of technology, there are two main things we need to address: prevention and correction.

Prevention refers to all the things you can do to stop lower back and neck pain from occurring. For example, using a standing desk, taking movement breaks from work, or sitting with good posture  are some of the most important things you can do when it comes to working pain-free.

However, since you are reading an article titled “Pain Relief Protocol,” it’s probably too late for prevention, so we need to talk about correction.

Correction for muscular issues refers to all the stretches and self-myofascial release you can perform to relieve your pain.

Upper Back and Neck

Let’s start with the muscles most commonly associated with tightness in your back and neck. Try these stretches to alleviate your discomfort:

Trap stretch: Three times a day for 30 seconds

Pocket stretch: Three times a day for 30 seconds

Chicken heads: Three sets of 10 reps 

Chest stretch: Three times a day for 30 seconds

Additionally, you could grab a lacrosse ball or foam roller and try to relieve the knots in your neck and upper back. 

Find a spot where the muscle feels knotted, place the ball there and hold until the tightness begins to dissipate. This could take anywhere from 20 seconds to 2 minutes.

Use the ball against the wall for the less intensity or against the floor for more intensity. These are the most likely problem areas:

Pectoralis minor - Likely the tighter part of your chest

Latissimus dorsi - Your wings

Upper trapezius – The things that pull up your shoulders

Levator scapulae - Lifts up your scapula

Lower back

Next, let’s address what you can do for lower back pain. Try three sets of 10 reps doing all of the following:

Hinge stretch

Box squats

Reverse lunge

A lacrosse ball or foam roller can relieve the tension in your lower half, as well:

Gluteus medius: Top of your booty

Psoas major: The major hip flexor 

Note, this is for muscle tightness only. If you have a preexisting condition or spinal injury, consult a physician before attempting any of these exercises.

Jake Dermer