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Working from home for long hours can cause pain in the shoulder area. This is called a mouse shoulder and can be corrected with these exercises.

Over the past year, we have been spending a lot of time at home due to Covid-19 related restrictions. This has increased our screen-time, be it due to working from home or indulging in leisure activities such as personal computer (PC)/console gaming. Sitting for long hours and recurring interaction with digital devices can cause soreness, pain, and stiffness in the neck and shoulder area, a phenomenon known as ‘mouse shoulder’. However, worry not, as this pain and soreness can be corrected using certain exercises.

neck exercises
Neck pain due to mouse shoulders can cause severe discomfort. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
What is a mouse shoulder?

A mouse shoulder is a pain in the neck and shoulder area caused due to using digital devices for long periods of time, and the name is attributed to the use of a mouse when using the said devices. Poor chair or desk setup and lack of physical movement are contributing factors to developing a mouse shoulder.

While increased screen-time can cause physical pain in the shoulder, it can also spoil your posture, triggering issues such as migraine and headaches. According to Dr Arati Joshi, family physician with Healthspring, a primary healthcare solutions provider in India, “While we all are working from home, we do not have the ideal office setup. This leads to a poor posture which can increase the likelihood of a migraine-related or tension-type headache.”

Working for long hours on the laptop can cause mouse shoulders. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are 3 exercises that can help you correct mouse shoulder pain

1. Forward and backward tilt

Step 1: Start with your head and back straight (either standing or sitting) and lower your chin toward your chest. Hold for 15-30 seconds and slowly lift your head back up.

Step 2: Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10 seconds then return to the start position. Repeat the set at least ten times.

2. Cat-cow

Step 1: Place your hands and knees on the ground imitating a cat. Inhale while looking up, drop your abdomen down as you extend your spine.

Step 2: Exhale and arch your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest.

Step 3: Continue this movement for at least one minute. Repeat thrice.

3. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch

Step 1: Sit on the floor or on a chair with your head stacked above your ribs and your ribs above your pelvis. Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head.

Step 2: Now, gently press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest.

Step 3: Hold the form for at least 30 seconds and do diaphragmatic breaths in and out while performing the stretch.

So, ladies, try these exercises to relieve yourself from pain due to a mouse shoulder.

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