Muscle pain, like neck and shoulder tension, wrist pain, and lower back pain, has become a common issue these days, due to the sedentary lifestyle we lead, and the fast-paced everyday life.
Yet, even though muscle pain is usually treated with various painkillers and creams, stretching is one of the most effective natural ways to prevent and treat it.
Stretching energizes the body and boosts the blood flow, preventing muscle stiffness and relieves muscle aches and injuries.
When stretching, you should hold for about half a minute, and focus on chronically tight areas. You should stretch after a workout to support the growth of the muscles and to reduce the stiffness, use extra support, like a stretch band or apply topical magnesium oil.
You should never stretch in rapid motion, or stretch injured muscles, as it may lead to more serious damage.
The following set of stretches has been designed by Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy from New York University.
You need to do them in a proper body posture, sitting, with the neck aligned with the spine, and the chin tucked down. Hold the stretches for 30 to 60 seconds.
You should turn the head to the right side slowly, hold for 30-60 seconds, and repeat on the left.
You should tilt the head to the right, drape the right arm over the head, close to the left ear, and hold. Repeat on the other side.
With the top pal facing the body and the bottom palm facing out, try to reach the hands together behind your back. Hold thus for half a minute, and then switch sides.
Slightly bend to stretch out the spine.
With the neck in a proper position, bend over in a chair.
Trunk Lateral Flexion
You should bend the body on one side while the opposite side’s hand is diagonally above the head. Hold thus and then repeat with the other side.
With the neck and back down, fold the right ankle over the left thigh right above the knee, and hold. Switch with the other leg.
Start in a standing position, and grab the top of the foot, bend the knee so it will point straight down at the floor, and hold. Repeat with the other leg.
Grab a mat or lay on a soft surface for this stretch, keeping one leg straight, and the opposite knee brought to the chest. Hold and repeat with the other leg.
Plant one foot on the floor, and bring the other leg up, at a 90° angle. Put a band or towel around the foot to keep it higher, and hold. Repeat on the other side.
With the arms crossed over the chest, look over the shoulder and rotate the trunk. Hold thus, face forward, and repeat on the other side.
With the toe on the wall and the feet planted, bend the front knee toward the wall, hold, and repeat with the other leg.
These stretches will help you prevent muscle pain and keep the muscles loose.