If you find yourself slumped over in front of a glowing screen for 40 plus hours a week or staring down the fiery red serpent of 20 miles of brake lights on a routine basis, you might notice that by the end of your work week, you have knots the size of golf balls in your neck, back or shoulders. Sitting for long periods of time in general is bad for your health. When you mix in the stress of commuting or work and the bad posture and repetitive muscle use of working on computers, you’re really going to need a way to ease that muscle tension. Massage can benefit you if you sit at a desk all day or have to log a lot of road time during your work week.
When you’re sitting at a desk in front of a computer for too long, it affects your posture and you end up with rounded shoulders. For every inch your head is positioned forward, it stresses your body as if your head weighed one extra pound. People with extreme forward head posture could end up with the equivalent of a 42 pound head at the end of the day! No wonder your neck hurts! This is especially prevalent with laptop users, because the construction of the laptop forces this bad posture.
As you’re sitting at a desk, your shoulder blades tend to wing out and create muscle tension in the neck. This can also cause tension headaches. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also affect your glutes, which you can feel in the form of lower back pain.
Your neck, back and shoulders aren’t the only body parts that suffer from computer use. There are all sorts of carpal tunnel issues that can arise from computer use, from your fingers and hands to your forearms. Ask your massage therapist which arm is your “mouse-clicking arm” and he or she can tell you right away.
Another major cause of muscle tension is stress. Whether it’s stress from grueling deadlines at work or from spending hours stuck in endless traffic, when you are stressed out your body tenses up. Stress related muscle tension can cause headaches and TMJ disorder (jaw clenching) which affect muscles in your face, head and neck. Stress also wreaks havoc on your immune system because it speeds up your breathing and heartbeat and floods your body with adrenaline, which can make you feel even more exhausted than your long journey to and from work.
So, in this computer-filled traffic nightmare, is there any good news? Yes! Massage can help undo the damage of your work week. Massage can help release the muscle tension caused by the bad posture at your computer, carpal tunnel, stress and much more. So at the end of your hectic work week, treat yourself to a massage for your physical and mental well-being.
Your massage therapist at Medical Massage Specialties will work with you to address your particular needs. Call 703-686-4092 to book an appointment, or visit the scheduling page of our website. Don’t let commuting and computing keep you in pain!