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The 3 R’s to Relieve Stress in Your Neck and Back

Whether you are at work or at home, it is common to feel stress and tension in your back. Today, people are often called on to do more with fewer resources. They are faced with more responsibility and more deadlines to get their tasks done. The health of your neck and back may be at risk with these mounting pressures.

Luckily, scientists have helped us learn that we have a defense against these mounting pressures –the “Three R’s”foreasing tension and reducing neck and back pain at home and work:

  • Rest –There’s nothing wrong with taking a break in between your daily tasks. In fact, it is better for your overall health! Take frequent breaks during work hours and choose alternate activities to get your mind ready for a new job task such as deep breathing, walking, napping, or exercising
  • Relaxation – You may be thinking this sounds a lot like “rest”, but relaxation is more than just taking a break from what you are doing. Take some time to relax and clear your mind. Whether you read a book, listen to some music, or partake in your favorite hobby, giving yourself time to relax and think of other things besides your tasks can help ease a lot of tension and stress.
  • Recovery – Recovery helps repair sore, aching tissues, keeping them healthy. Repeated and prolonged activities can take their toll on your body if you don’t allow yourself to recover.    

Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid tension and keep your back and neck healthy:

  • Pace Yourself – Avoid sudden changes in your daily tasks and avoid overloading yourself with things to do.Pace yourself and give yourself time in between tasks so that you aren’t overworking your body or your mind.
  • Take a “microbreak” – Athirty second “microbreak” every twenty to thirty minutescan make a big difference in your day. You can do some deep breathing, stretch your legs, take a walk, eat something, or simply turn away from your task at hand for a moment. Even the smallest breaks make a big impact!
  • Change Positions – Even the most comfortable position can cause you to build tension in your limbs. Try to avoid staying in the same position for long periods of time.Plan ways to get the job done using different positions. Sit for a bit, then stand for a bit.
  • Rotate Duties – Rotating your tasks can give you a sense of relief, especially when one task is particularly harsh on your neck and back. Try to alternate between tasks that are “light” and “heavy” for a bit of recovery in between the tougher ones.
  • Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco – Caffeine(while very tempting to consume), which can be found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, and tobacco can increase stress, reduce blood flow, and increase your awareness of back and neck pain.

These are just a few things that can help ease stress and tension in your neck and back. Visit our Blogs page for more spine health tips!

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