How to ease annoying WFH aches and pains by yourself

PHOTO: Pexels

The lack of movement (moving from the bed to the couch doesn’t count) during this WFH period might have resulted in neck and shoulder aches, tightness in the hips and even lower back pains (or, ugh, made them worse).

But that doesn’t mean you have to live with them—the discomfort in certain areas can be easily eased with some stretches or the use of a household item or two.

We get an expert to share some tips.

1. Neck aches 

PHOTO: Dr Shaan Rai

Slouching and tilting your head forward constantly while using the computer for hours can injure the neck and shoulders. Neck problems could also impact the nerve system and brain stem, resulting in other issues.

To relieve neck pain, Dr Shaan Rai, director, founder and owner of Vitality Chiropractic in Singapore, suggests placing a plastic bottle wrapped in a towel under your neck while lying on your back.

Open your chest and keep your shoulders on the floor, and hold the position for five minutes, every morning and evening. 

2. Shoulder aches and upper back pains 

PHOTO: Dr Shaan Rai

Stand with your legs about hip width apart and bend forwards at an “X” angle with your arms up against the wall.

Performing this stretch can help lengthen and align your spine whilst correcting forward head posture caused by sitting or slouching.

Hold this pose for one minute in the morning and evening. 

3. Leg cramps 

PHOTO: Dr Shaan Rai

According to Dr Rai, lower back aches, tight hips and leg numbness are all connected through the pelvis and lumbar spine.

To ease them, start with a quad stretch using an ottoman or stool. As you do this, squeeze your glutes and keep your posture upright.

Make sure you’re not slouching. Hold this position for two minutes per leg, every morning and evening.

4. Tightness in hips 

PHOTO: Dr Shaan Rai

A hip stretch is beneficial for those suffering from tightness in the hips after hours in front of the computer, and to do this, Dr Rai recommends sitting on the floor with your right feet up against your left thigh.

Doing this stretches the piriformis — a small muscle located deep in the buttocks — that’s usually shortened by sitting.

Keeping your chest up, stretch through and bring your knees closer to you if you want to deepen the stretch.

Hold the position for two minutes on each side every morning and evening.

This article was first published in CLEO Singapore.