Office Self Massage Techniques

– Office Self Massage Techniques – 

5 Common Areas of Pain Office Workers Face From Sitting at the Computer and How to Help them with Self Massage.

Most office workers develop common musculoskeletal problems that occur over time. Muscle tension in our Back/Neck, Legs, Feet, Shoulders and Wrists/Hands builds up and can eventually result in tendonitis, arthritic joints, painful soft tissue dysfunction and affect work performance. A study by Lingard et al. (2014) found that a combination of frequent musculoskeletal pain and stress had the highest risk for reporting decreased work performance. Lingard et al. concluded that workplace modifications can be beneficial by focusing on assisting employee general musculoskeletal health and adopting both individual and organizational interventions to minimize work-related stress. (1) Thankfully muscle tension levels at work can be reduced by using self massage tools due to their ability to increase blood flow, reduce scar tissue adhesions and assist alignment of muscle tissue. (2-6) Here is a quick description of some office self massage techniques that we can do to help ourselves to feel better while we work.


Lets start with the Back Extensor muscles which are long muscles that run vertically up your spine. Their purpose is to hold your spine erect and in its neutral position. While you sit or do other forms of labor these muscles muscles are constantly working, especially when done with poor posture. General muscle tension increases overtime and can lead to increased back strains and later disc degeneration.







Next up are the quads and calves which get extra tight from sitting for hours in a fixed position. When we sit, what we don’t realize is that our muscles are still working to support our spine and posture. This is ultimately what causes increased muscle tension your legs. And why when we rise up from our chairs after sitting more than 30 minutes, we feel stiff. Lets take a look at some leg massage techniques to help with this.






Computer work and tedious repetitive tasks take their toll on our hands. Continuous finer movements done while typing or other office duties use both the bigger muscles located in our forearms and smaller intrinsic muscles in our hands. As the muscles get tired and overworked, this can lead to tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Massage and pressure point therapy help assist reducing the strain on your hands, wrist and forearms while you work. 


As mentioned above sitting, standing or walking too long can increase muscle tension everywhere, even in your feet. Most of us don’t often realize that the position we keep our feet in while we work slowly causes excessive shortening of the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the feet. Once the muscle is in a shortened state it cannot function well and becomes problematic resulting strains, sprains, plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. Rolling on your feet is a simple task and can easily be done at work under your desk. 





So many of our job duties consist of continuous shoulder movements. Even simple computer tasks result in the muscles supporting the shoulder girdle to be active while we work. Over time, this also accumulates tension in our neck, mid-back and can develop elbow pain. Muscle tension around the shoulder and shoulder blade (scapula) needs to be released using therapeutic massage and self care.


Practicing self care with massage, rolling and pressure point therapy has many benefits not only the office worker but for most people. We want to encourage everyone to develop a self massage program of their own and implement it into their daily lives. Help yourself prevent future aches and pains by doing some simple massage techniques at your desk.



  1. Lindegård A., Larsman P., Hadzibajramovic E., Ahlborg G. The influence of perceived stress and musculoskeletal pain on work performance and work ability in Swedish health care workers. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health. 2014;87:373–379. doi: 10.1007/s00420-013-0875-8.
  2. Connolly DA, Sayers SP, McHugh MP. Treatment and prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2003; 17: 197–208.
  3. Crane, J.D., Ogborn, D.L., Cupido, C., Melos, S., Hubbord, A., Bourgeois, J.M. & Tarnopolsky, M.A. Massage Therapy attenuates inflammatory signaling after exercise-induced muscle damage. Science Translational Medicine. 2012; 4(119): 1-8.
  4. Halperin, I., Aboodarda, S.J., Button, D.C., Andersen, L.L., and Behm, D.G. Roller massager improves range of motion of plantar flexor muscles without subsequent decreases in force parameters. Int. J. Sports Phys. Ther. 2014; 9: 92–102.
  5. Jay K., Sundstrup E., Sondergaard S.D., et al. Specific and cross over effects of massager for muscle soreness: randomized controlled trial. Int. J. Sports Phys. Ther. 2014; 9: 82–91.
  6. MacDonald GZ, Button DC, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG. Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2014; 46: 131–42.

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