Muscle pain like neck tension and lower back pain have become extremely common these days. It`s no wonder though, given the sedentary lifestyle and modern pace of life. Whether it is wrist pain from typing at a computer all day or shoulder tension from sitting at a desk for an extended period of time, sore muscles do make any movement painful.
Consequently, we reach for creams and painkillers to alleviate the pain; but, this is only a temporal solution. Prevention is the key, instead of reacting to muscle pain. Stretching is a good starting point!
The Best Stretches for Muscle Pain
The stretches below were chosen by Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy from New York University. Prior starting, remember that if you feel pain while performing a stretch to stop right away.
Turn the head to the right and hold for half a minute to a minute. Face forward and to the same with the left.
Tilt the head to the right and put the right arm over the head, close to the left ear. Make sure you don’t pull, but allow the weight of the arm to stretch the neck. Do the same with the other side.
Cross the arms over the chest and look over the shoulder, rotating at the trunk. Hold for half a minute to a minute and do the same with the other side.
You need a slight bend in order to stretch the spine, while avoiding going too far.
Trunk Lateral Flexion
Bend to the side with the opposite`s side over the head. Hold and then do the same with the other side.
Bend over in a chair, keeping the neck in the right position so that you don’t feel pain.
Keep the top palm facing the body and the bottom one facing out. Try reaching the hands together behind the back. Hold and repeat with the other side.
Stand up and grab the top of the foot. Bend the knee so that it points down at the floor. Hold for a minute and then do the same with the other leg.
Bend the front knee toward the wall, keeping the toe on the wall and feet planted. Hold and then repeat with the other leg.
Lay on a mat and bring the opposite knee to the chest while keeping one leg straight. Hold and repeat with the other leg.
Put one leg on the floor and bring the other as high as possible. Place a band or towel around the foot so that you can lift it higher. Hold and switch sides.
Fold the right ankle over the left thigh above the knee. Hold and then switch legs.
Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to stretching
- Stretch after a workout to allow the muscles to grow
- Hold stretches for 20 to 30 seconds ( 60 max)
- Stretch chronically tight areas frequently
- Stretch in rapid motion.
- Stretch injured muscles