Stretches for RSI
Our routine today starts at the head and neck, and we will gradually work our way down to the wrists and hands.
Let’s begin by working into neck rotations. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and feel the muscles of your abdomen working to support the lengthening of your spine.
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Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Inhale, retract your skull slightly, and bring your chin towards your throat.
If you like, you can interlace your fingers and place your hands at the back of the crown for an extra stretch.
Hold this position for 5 deep breaths and slowly come back up, keeping a little pressure with the hands on the head.
Now inhale, protracting your chin. With the jaw closed, exhale and slowly tilt your jaw line up to the ceiling until you feel a stretch in the front of the neck. Don’t let gravity pull your head down; rather feel you are controlling the movement.
Hold this for a further 5 breaths.
Inhale to release your head without straining your neck.
Now, let’s inhale again.
As you exhale, drop your left ear down to your left shoulder. You can bring your left hand to the right temple for a stronger stretch. Deliberately press your right shoulder away from the ear and lengthen the right side of the neck and shoulders. Hold for 5 breaths. Release carefully and repeat on the other side. If one side feels tighter, consider holding that stretch for longer.
Okay. Let’s open up through the chest and shoulders. Interlace your fingers and inhale as you reach the arms up to the ceiling. Keep the shoulders grounding down into their sockets. Keep your chin in slightly to lengthen the base of the skull. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, slowly stretching the arms as far back as you can.
Don’t hold your breath, but rather feel as though you are releasing more with each exhalation. This will open up the wrists and hands as well. Inhale to bend the elbows and exhale to release the arms. Change the pinky grip over and let’s repeat that on the other side. Inhale, lift the arms, exhale – shoulders down and chin in.
Now to the spine. Use the tummy muscles to help you sit up tall. Inhale and then slowly turn to your left as you exhale. Turn from your waist. You can use the arm or back of the chair for extra leverage. Keep turning your head as far to the left as you can so that you include your neck in the stretch. Hold for 5 deep breaths, keeping the spine long. Release and repeat to the right.
This last one is my favourite. Bring the forearms and hands together, with the elbows just above the chest. Bring your left arm over the top of the right with the elbows touching. Inhale, using the abdomen to lengthen the spine and exhale to slowly draw the elbows down towards the floor. Incline the head forwards. Hold for 10 breaths. Don’t slump the abdomen. Release slowly and repeat with the opposite arm on top.
Good. Now shrug your shoulders a few times and feel the space you have created in your upper body. Try to do this short sequence every couple of hours and you can help to keep stiffness and injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI, at bay.