If you have ever had any type of stress, or if you sit in front of a computer all day for your job, chances are you have experienced muscle tension sometime in your life, if not every day.
In case you haven’t figured out the best way to reliever your muscle tension throughout the day, experts have a few suggestions to make life and your muscles a little more relaxed.
1) Be aware of your work risk factors.
Jobs that require you to work in non-ergonomic positions with repetitive movements are likely to cause muscle strain, according to Dr. Ginevra Liptan, the medical director of The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia. People who work in desk jobs tend to lean forward toward the computer, which causes results in strain to the neck and back.
2) Move around.
Make sure to take breaks and adjust the position of your body frequently in order to reduce any muscle tension, Liptan said. Also make a conscious effort to keep your head in a straight line to avoid leaning forward.
3) Try natural supplements.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that can be taken in several forms. Liptan suggests applying a lotion or oil with magnesium to areas that are bothering you.
4) Switch around the way you carry your purse.
Carrying your purse or bag on the same shoulder every day can lead to muscle tension, said Maurice Williams, the owner and lead personal fitness trainer and lead fitness educator at Move Well Fitness, LLC and Move Well Fit Academy. Make sure to empty your purse out and lighten the load as much as possible also.
5) Ditch the high heels.
Wearing high heels actually makes the body stand in an unnatural position, which leads to muscle tension in the lower legs and back, Williams said. It’s best to wear flats instead of high heels, and take your shoes off whenever possible.
6) Make the most of your breaks at work.
In order to reduce muscle tension, it’s important to get up and move around regularly, said Alyssa West, a performance coach at TruFusion.
She suggests women pick the furthest bathroom to walk to instead of using a close bathroom, if possible, to help with movement. She also encourages setting a quiet timer every hour to remind clients to stretch.
She works with clients to make individual stretch routines that work in their specific environment.
7) Get professional help.
There are many different health professionals who can help with muscle tension, including massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors and acupuncturists, according to Matthew Cooper, a chiropractor and certified chiropractic sports physician at USA Sports Therapy in Florida.
8) Try different stretches at work.
During breaks, there are many stretches you can do to help with muscle tension, especially in the neck, shoulders and back. One stretch is to turn the head from side to side, then look up and tilt the head back, Cooper said. This benefits the sides and front of the neck.
What do you do to relieve muscle tension from stress and work? Share in the comments below.
Reviewed June 9, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Liptan, Ginevra. Email interview. May 25, 2016.
Williams, Maurice. Email interview. May 25, 2016.
West, Alyssa. Email interview. May 26, 2016.
Cooper, Matthew. Email interview. May 25, 2016.