Back and Shoulder hurties

I went and visited a brilliant massage therapist last night. Not only was she great at relaxing some of my more messed up muscles but she was also a great teacher. Two of the more meaning full things that she went over with me that I am now doing my best to work on, are as follows:

  1. Lift your sternum. The number one thing that she told was a very simple bit of advice that simplifies something that we should all do. Proper spinal alignment and posture are a big deal for those of us who sit in the same position for long periods of time. For me that would be sitting at my desk at work and at home. At my desk I do all of my work in front of me, I reach out to get my mouse, or my keyboard, or the other things that I work with in front of me. What this does in the long term is stretches the muscles ( mainly my rhomboids) out in my back way more than they were ever designed to be stretched out, and it leaves them stretched for long periods of time. This is not good and causes all kinds of issues with the muscles. Makes my shoulders shrug more forward, and my neck sit more forward trying to hold up my huge head and look at my monitor through my beat up eyes. This is one of those things that gets worse and worse over time and compounds on itself. My therapist’s simple advice to “lift the sternum” is a very simple thing that do, and remember to help with this all the time, not only at the desk but when doing anything. By lifting the little bit of junk in-between my ribs, my shoulder move back letting my rhomboids relax a bit, it moves my neck back helping it relax, and it stretches out my chest and forces the pectoral muscles to pull less on my rhomboids, again giving them some more of a break
  2. Change your mouse hand. Another one that she gave me that I’ve been doing when I have a chance is to change the hand that I use for my mouse. Being a nerd with resources, what I did was plug in a second mouse to my computer. This gives me the option to quickly switching from one to the other when I need to just move about, or when I need to be more precise and efficient. When I am web browsing, or reading something I am trying to commit to using the other mouse, and to move my normal mouse hand on to the back of my arm rest. This moves my more used shoulder into a position where it is not stretched out in front of me giving it a bit of a chance to relax. As a secondary thing for me this is going to mean doing more with keyboard short cuts.

She had some other things, but I don’t want to overload this post and I have some real paying work to do. I am going to try some more stuff over the next few weeks and months. As I try those I will write some more about this, and report and how I am doing. Kev loves pictures, right? below is what my desk top looks like with the two mice installed. To the left I my laptop that does music and travels with me. In the middle is my monitor that is dedicated to my terminal session to my home server, and the wide screen monitor to the right of the desk is my active work space. It is good to be a nerd with resources.


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