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Workplace Exercise Videos

Exercise 1

Hello, I’m Paul Morrissey, registered osteopath. A disturbing number of patients are presenting these days with neck, shoulder, and upper back complaints. I truly believe these come from the workplace, stress, anxiety at modern times, and the use of mobile phones and tablets. Now, I’ve developed a series of exercises that can be done in the workplace. You should enjoy these exercises. However, if you experience any pain during these exercises you must consult your registered osteopath or preferred health care practitioner.

We’re about to commence the OC workplace exercises now using the forefoot foam roller. Please ensure that the exercises are not undertaken on a slippery surface, and if at all possible, take your shoes off because you get better proprioceptive feedback through the chain with your shoes off during these exercises.

This is the first exercise. We’re lying on the foam roller. We’re eliminating, we’re taking gravity out of the equation. Now, it’s important that we get the neutral position of the spine. We start with the pelvis and essentially we tuck under and then we extend the longer spine to find a neutral position. Then, we move up towards the ribcage.

If our ribs are flaring we connect the pelvis and the ribs. Then lastly, the position of the head, essentially our chin usually rises too high. So I like the idea of the chin being lower, or longer at the back of the neck. Now, we’re pretty good to go. We’re in a nice functional position.

The last piece of this exercise is to breathe. I need you to breathe laterally using the diaphragm so we’re breathing sideways here. I want you to breathe five times into the ribs. Okay. And you do that for the first one and you’re going to relax your arms and you’re going to continue to breathe laterally in this neutral functional position.

Exercise 2

Now, the second exercise is challenging the new found stable position of the spine. Now we’re going to extend our arms like so. Now, what we do with this exercise is we’re going to protract and retract the scapula, the shoulder blade. The arms are not straight and they’re certainly not bent. They’re soft through the elbows.

Now the movement essentially comes from the shoulder blade. And it just slides slightly forward and slightly backwards on the ribcage. You do five in this position. You’re going to turn the thumbs to meet one another, and as you go deep you’ll feel the muscles, the periscapular muscles releasing. Then, we turn the thumbs away from you, and you should feel the difference between one side and the other, and let the soft tissues melt. Now, this exercise must be done soft at all times.

Then, finally there’s a circumduction movement. So you feel like the fingers are held high and you’re rotating the shoulder blades and the shoulder, and you’re going to feel some slight releasing in the muscles. Then you reverse the movement five times. Again, we have to watch that the hips aren’t moving, you’re still breathing laterally whilst you’re doing this movement.

Exercise 3

Now, our third exercise is to start opening up the chest. We’re going to extend our arms and bring them in to a goalpost position. Now, we do find that the shoulders get a little bit tight, but also the front of the chest gets also tight if you can hold this position.

Now, essentially what usually happens here is the rib cage is flare. The ribcage flares and you lose the connection of the thoraco pelvis area. So this must stay constant. Arms are extended. You just leave the arms in this position. Some people find that the elbows, hands bring various tightness due to the tightness of the pectoral-clavicular fascia, and pressure of modern times or organisation of the trunk.

Now the development of this exercise is the child’s snow angels. From here you feel the back of the hand sliding up, and then coming back down. You take that over the head. Slow and controlled. And you’re just breathing through the nose.

Another thing to watch is that you’re not elevating the ribs to afford the additional movement above the head. Maintain the thoraco pelvis relationship, and just slide the arms. This will significantly open up the front of the chest and help you regain your posture.

Exercise 4

Now, for the fourth exercise we can use the foam roller as long it’s in a comfortable position. If I bring this down that’s my neck getting to a neutral position. And I extend. Oh, I have to watch that I’m not side-bending into the floor. I must open at the thoraco pelvis area.

From here now we’re going to introduce rotation. What we must do it’s not necessarily about opening the chest at the expense of losing your new found stability through the thoraco pelvis area. The most important thing is this relationship. And then the arm goes along, your eyes with the trunk. I very much like the idea of the eyes and the index finger controlling the movement. Your shoulders are on your back, and the control of breath from the diaphragm, breathing sideways.

If this is as far as you go, and you can’t go, then so be it. Lengthen the arms and return. So breathing in and breathing out in the chest, in the thoracic spine, and then returning. Whatever you do, do not let this collapse and lose your pelvis to afford additional mobility or stretch through the chest and shoulder.

Exercise 5

Now, for the final exercise for the foam roller in the workplace we’re going to round in the spine and then we’re releasing. We’re introducing some flexion in the spine and somewhat extension. We are using the foam roller to challenge the stability. I rather like the exercise where I am coming in to a quadruped position. And again, five counts to round the spine, five counts to release. Five counts to round the spine, five counts to release.

Now, the variation on this exercise, we round the spine. Stay below to the left and the right hand simply slides through the [inaudible 00:54], and then round the spine to return. Again, round the spine into flexion, stay below to the right now, and the left hand, rotate, and then we come back to our original position. Some people like to go a little bit deeper with the exercise. However, I prefer as mentioned in the quadruped position, so it’s a little bit more challenging through the scapula thoracic area. Enjoy.

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