Factory Employees Aches & Pains

Posted on July 6th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

I hope you had a safe, family and friends filled July 4th celebration. It’s hot outside so remember to stay hydrated.

As I reflected on how this country was built it took me back to my previous day. On Tuesday I had the honor of providing chair massages to factory workers at a nearby plastic manufacturing center. Being in this massive building and having the opportunity to tour the facility it made me think about how some of these products are taken for granted. They don’t manufacture say water bottles, but one of their biggest contracts is motor oil containers.

I was a bit surprised to be told that only about a third had ever received a massage in their life, considering their occupation is so physical. After talking with a few I realized why; they had no time! Most worked 6 days a week pulling 12 hour shifts, and several lived more than 35miles away. Even more astonishing was the beating their bodies took to perform their day to day tasks; repetitive movement, long periods of standing in one spot along with poor ergonomic conditions.

Here is just a short list of some of the muscle pains conveyed to me. With each complaint I gave them stretches to incorporate into their day to help with the muscle discomfort. These are easy for anyone. You probably have done them before and maybe a few new ones. Try them out!

Slowly circle the head to ease tension in the back, both sides and the front muscles of the neck. Roll the head one direction and then the other way. Key word here is slooowly. Doing it too quickly you can become dizzy and disoriented.

By shrugging the shoulders several times the upper trapezius muscle has no choice but to relax and release built up tension. With a deep inhalation bring your shoulders up to your ears. Exhale and push your shoulders toward the floor. Repeat as many times needed when tension in the shoulder increases throughout the day.

While standing lean forward to touch your toes. A simple toe touch (or as close as you can get to your toes) does wonders for lengthening a tight lower back. Hang out here for a bit allowing the lower back to lengthen. When returning to the upright position slowly come up. One vertebrae at a time. Imagine your spine a string of pearls being lifted. Key word here; sloowly return to standing with your head being the last thing lifted.

Start by clasping both hands behind your back and resting them on your butt. Take a deep breath in and lift your arms up while your shoulder blades squeeze together. Continue to breath while letting them hang in mid air for a few seconds. Slowly release.

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