Ease Aches And Pains With Deep Stretching From Head To Toe
December 6, 2017
Many of us simply are not that physically active. Unexplained aches and pains may have a lot to do with your lifestyle.
Ease Your Aching Pain With Exercise Therapy
Americans typically over medicate themselves with pain killers to alleviate chronic pain problems. Non-invasive, drug free treatments such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture or, in some cases, spinal manipulation (chiropractic or osteopathic) have proved highly effective in relieving aches and pains.
Gentle stretching along with proper posture improves blood flow to muscles and tendons which tighten from inactivity. Stretching and strengthening muscles around our joints increases blood flow and circulation, sending oxygen to your brain. This helps alleviate stress and limit inflammation.
Wake up your muscles with some simple stretching exercises to help reduce future injury and pain:
TORSO TWIST – helps strengthen the muscles on your sides that help you rotate your spine while keeping your lower back in alignment.
Rotate torso, making sure hips stay fixed. Inhale and twist as far as you can to left. Unwind as you exhale. Repeat sequence, this time twisting to right. Perform 2 more complete rounds.
PELVIC TILT – strengthens abdominal muscles that support the spine.
Lie on back with knees bent, feet on floor. As you exhale, engage your abdominal muscles and flatten curve of back until it presses into floor. Hold for count of 5 and release. Do 10 reps.
BIRD DOG WITH CRUNCH – engages your spine-supporting muscles while moving and balancing.
Get on all fours with back flat. Reach left arm forward and right leg back, keeping pelvis even and core engaged. Then draw left elbow and right knee together until they touch. Do 10 repetitions, then repeat with opposite arm and leg.
DEAD BUG – prevents disk compression and lower-back pain by strengthening hip flexors and spine-supporting.
Lie on back. Engage abdominals. Reach arms straight up. Bend left leg and lift it toward chest, then lower foot to floor. Repeat with right leg. Alternate legs for 10 repetitions.
SUPERMAN – improves spinal alignment for ideal posture by shoring up muscles surrounding spine.
Lie on belly with arms stretched forward, as if flying like Superman. Squeeze buttocks, tuck tailbone, and engage abdominal muscles to protect lower back. Slowly lift upper body and legs off floor. Hold for 5 breaths. A pinch in your lower back means you’ve lifted too high.
HALF DOWNWARD-FACING DOG – opens chest and keeps shoulders back to eliminate the hunched-over posture that causes neck and lower-back pain.
Place palms at midrib height on a wall. Inhale. As you exhale, bend knees slightly and slowly walk feet back until arms are straight and back is parallel to floor. Pressing hands into wall, draw belly button toward spine and allow chest to drop. Hold for 10 deep breaths.
SHOULDER OPENER WITH STRAP – stretches chest and shoulders.
Hold exercise strap (or belt) with 1 hand at each end, arms held straight out in front at shoulder height, hands wider than shoulders. Keeping arms straight, inhale and reach arms overhead. Exhale and lower arms behind head as far as possible. Inhale, bringing arms up, then exhale and lower them to starting position. Repeat 5 times.
SCAPULAR PUSH-UP – strengthens muscles connecting the sides of your ribs to your shoulder blades to prevent rounding of your back.
Get on all fours. Keep arms straight and hands directly underneath shoulders. Engage abdominal muscles and squeeze shoulder blades together. Hold 1 second, then release to return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions.
NECK RELEASE – Massages neck and creates space between the disks, relieving pressure.
Stuff 2 tennis balls in a sock, knot open end. Lie on back and rest neck on balls. Lift chin and then tuck it, rolling neck muscles along balls. Tucking chin will open spaces between neck vertebrae. Hold tuck for 10 deep breaths.
UPPER-BACK RELEASE- helps release tension in muscles and fascia (the connective tissue just beneath your skin).
Stand with back to wall or lie on back. Place tennis ball between upper back and wall or floor to right of spine. Gently rock ball out and back from spine, allowing ball to move down back to bottom of rib cage. Place ball on left side of spine and repeat.
RECLINED IT BAND STRETCH – help stretch the iliotibial (IT) band, which runs from the buttocks to the outer knee, to relieve pain in both areas.
Lie on back and bend left knee. Place yoga strap around arch of left foot and straighten leg. Holding strap ends in right hand, move left leg about 30 degrees to right or until you feel a stretch. Hold 30 seconds, then repeat with right leg.
ARCH RELEASE – massages bottom of foot to stretch plantar fascia, the main ligament that runs along the arch of the foot. This help relieve heel pain.
Place tennis ball or massage ball under arch of foot while sitting or standing. Lean into ball and roll it up and down arch from heel to ball of foot. Roll 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat with other foot.
KNEELING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH – helps Relieve tight hip flexors, which are often stiff from sitting.
Place towel under back knee for cushioning if needed. Come into lunge with left leg forward, placing hand on front of thigh for support. With spine upright, tuck tailbone and lean slightly into left leg until you feel a stretch along front of right hip. Hold for 5 breaths, then repeat with right leg forward.
CLAMSHELL – strengthens gluteus medius, the muscle on the outer edge of your buttocks responsible for stabilizing your pelvis. Weak glutes can lead to painful pressure on the knees.
Lie on left side with knees bent 45 degrees and heels in line with spine. Keep feet touching as you lift right knee, spreading legs like an open clamshell. Keep hips facing forward. Do 10 to 20 times, then repeat on opposite side.
CAT-COW – helps to gently warm the entire spine and restores circulation to tight back muscles. This move will rehydrate spinal discs.
Get on all fours with hands directly underneath shoulders. Inhale, lifting tailbone and arching spine so that belly lowers, and look forward. Exhale, tucking tailbone and rounding spine; look downward. Repeat 5 rounds slowly, moving with your breath.
Speed recovery from injuries and eliminate pain by stretching daily. Before attempting any exercise program consult your doctor of physical therapist to ensure you perform and execute this moves properly.
Take the initiative to get more exercise, stretching helps eliminate body aches associated with inactivity. Start out each day with any combination of the stretches provided to help reduce the severity of injuries and limit body aches.
Initially it may take some time for your body to become accustomed to more intense activities. More than likely you will experience a temporary increase in body aches. Within a few weeks your body will adjust and strengthen.
To learn more about physical therapy treatment programs for stretching or to treat pain, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today.
Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at www.moriartypt.com or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.