Chronic pain can prevent most people from living their best lives! Whether it’s hip pain, back pain, shoulder pain or pain in the legs or arms, relief can be just a few stretches and strengthening exercises away. Regular exercise and training, especially if planned by your physical therapist, can be a huge help in preventing and improving pain in the body. Doing regular exercise can strengthen the muscles supporting the injury and leave you in far better shape to prevent future injuries. A recent study on back pain found that participants who followed a 12-week stretching regimen reported better back function, less pain, and a reduced need for pain medication.
Have a plan from your physical therapist
Breathe deeply while stretching
Stretch to cool down after your workout
Do your routine at least once a day
Wear comfortable clothes
Stretching should be pain free, don’t force the muscle
Move into the stretch slowly, never bouncing
Hold stretches 30-45 seconds to allow muscles and joints to loosen
Repeat the stretch, generally 2 to 3 times
Stretch your whole body even if you only have pain in one area
Relax those stresses – Emotional stress can cause tension in your body and disrupt the normal, fluid function of your muscles. Pain is exacerbated by tightness and stress so regular stretching and exercise will help to relieve the stress and in turn loosen the muscles and help with relaxation.
Improves circulation and blood flow – stretching will help the blood to flow and circulate to the muscles and joints, helping to remove waste products and bringing vital nutrients to cells. Tight connective tissue needs blood flow to open up the knotted tissue and help with the pain.
Improve flexibility – stiffness is the main culprit in relieving pain so slowly lengthening your muscles and keeping them flexibile will be beneficial to your overall health. As we age, joints will become less flexible and tight muscles will keep them in these rigid positions increasing the risk of falling. It is important that we try to keep a full range of motion in all joints.
Good body alignment – your physical therapist can be very helpful and teach you to be mindful of your body’s proper alignment. Working regularly on this alignment when you are sitting, standing or walking will prove to be very important in the prevention of injuries and help relieve pain.
Oxygen-never forget that oxygen is one of the bodies natural healers. Taking regular, deep breathes can relax tension, help with sleep and vitalize the blood flow throughout your body. Good oxygenated blood flow will help the body heal and relieve pain.
Better Balance-by regularly stretching your muscles throughout your body, your alignment and balance will improve giving you a far better range of motion and better coordination and control over your balance and everyday movements.
Take action and call today to get your personalized stretching program delivered online or from your West Los Angeles Physical Therapist and fitness trainer!