Pain can be such a drag. It could be the first thing you feel when you wake up and the last thing you think about. If left unattended, it could complicate how you handle common tasks like doing laundry, sitting at your desk, or even taking a walk. What if there was an easy way to get rid of back, neck, hips, and knee pain?
Something as simple as a few stretches in the morning could go a long way. While you might not feel like exercising in the morning, studies have shown that exercise could be quite helpful with pain relief, from back pain relief to relieving sciatica. Besides, all you need to do is a few simple stretches or moderate exercise.
Here is what you should know about pain relief exercises:
The Benefits of Stretching For Pain Relief
Getting rid of the pain you feel could allow you to do a lot of things normally in your life. Stretching has been scientifically proven to be great at alleviating pain. It all trickles down to the types of exercises you commit to and the consistency. In fact, some chronic pain sufferers are urged by their physical therapists to keep active while following specific steps. Here are some of the benefits your body enjoys:
As you grow older, your muscles become restricted in their position, making movement tough. This can also be a precursor for annoying pains like sciatica. Regular exercise allows you to strengthen your muscles as well as increase your joints’ range of motion. It also relieves stiffness for easier movement.
Improves Blood Circulation
Stretching can help you increase your blood flow, which comes with a bevy of benefits. For starters, increased blood flow allows blood to bring nutrients to cells more easily while taking away any waste products that cause pain. It also opens up connective tissues, allowing enough blood to get to the knotted tissues for pain alleviation.
Relaxes and Relieves Stress
There is a strong connection between stress and pain. Pain can be execrated by body stress. On the other hand, body stress is easily exacerbated through emotional stress. Simple exercises for pain relief can help eliminate stress-related pain by triggering emotional wellness and relaxing your body.
Improves Body Posture
Stretching can be instrumental in promoting the alignment of your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. On the other hand, proper alignment reduces joint inflammation while increasing mobility. Alignment-targeted exercises can further improve your posture, which lessens pain.
Tips for Stretching For Pain Relief
- Exercise at least once per day
- Look for comfortable clothes to wear during your exercise sessions
- Stretch to cool your body down, not to warm it up – after a walk, for instance
- Repeat the stretches several times, between 5 to 10 times
- Breathe deeply when stretching
- Hold your stretches 30-45 seconds to allow the loosening of your joints and muscles
- Stretching ought to be pain-free – avoid putting your body in difficult positions
- Stretch the whole body, not just the area experiencing the pain
Stretches for Back Pain
You can experience back pain during pregnancy or due to bad sitting posture, to name a few reasons. Either way, keeping yourself active is a sure way to deal with back pain. Some simple exercises like walking, yoga, or tai chi could go a long way. Here are a few stretches for back pain:
The Kegel is aimed at strengthening your transversus abdominis, which is one of the key muscles supporting your lower back. The toughest part of performing this move is to identify what muscles to target. You can identify these muscles by stopping your urine flow mid-stream. You will feel some sensation in the target muscles. Relax and tighten the muscles for at least five seconds, five times each day. You can increase these stretches to ten seconds five times each day.
This exercise could targets the entire upper and lower back, making it ideal for dealing with back pain during pregnancy. Start by lying on your stomach while raising your arms and legs at the same time. You should lie on a flat surface. Hold this position for five seconds before returning to your initial state. You should repeat this stretch ten times.
While planks are an ideal exercise for core and back strength, they can cause some irritation when done wrong. The hip bridge targets the same areas while being more forgiving. It requires you to lie flat on your bed or floor with your knees bent your arms on your side, and your feet flat. Tighten your butt and stomach muscles and lift your pelvis until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position for 15 seconds before dropping slowly back to the initial position. Repeat this back pain relief stretch five times.
Knee to Chest Stretch
This exercise targets your lower back, inner thigh, and hip. Start by lying with your back on the floor while lifting one leg to help bring your knee towards your chest. Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold this position for five seconds. Release and repeat the same on with the other leg. For optimal results, be sure to repeat this sequence ten times.
Stretches for Shoulder Pain
Age-related arthritis could cause pain in your shoulders. The gradual wear and tear of your shoulder joints could lead to pain development. Pain can come from something simple, from turning to pick something from the backseat of your car to trying to lift something off the floor. Luckily, some simple stretches for shoulder pain might suffice.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This exercise targets posture, which is essential for your shoulder to work well. It involves standing straight and tall. You should then pull your shoulder blades down and back while bringing your elbows inwards and back. Slowly return to the initial position. These stretches work best when done in three sets of ten.
The good thing with this shoulder stretch is that it can be done anywhere. Start by standing with arms to your side and your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms straight and keep moving them forward in circles. Do this in 15-20 reps before switching directions.
This move is ideal for full-body stretching. It mainly benefits your core, back, and shoulders. The ideal position is to use your elbows instead of your hands to avoid straining your shoulders. Lie on your stomach while supporting yourself with your elbows. Lift your knees and hips from the floor and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax for thirty seconds before repeating the move. You should gradually work your way to doing five plank sessions per day.
Stretches for Neck Pain
Stretching a sore neck is easy – you can do neck pain relief stretches anywhere. For starters, if you have someone who can massage your neck, that is a great place to start. If not, you should commit to stretches for neck pain. Paying for chiropractic pain relief could help you out too.
Start by sitting forward with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Tilt your head to one side with your ear facing your shoulder. Keep tilting until you feel a stretch and hold this position. Release your head back to the middle before repeating the same stretch. Each neck pain relief stretch should last 30 seconds. Feel free to use your hand to pull your head to the side gently.
Stretches for Hip Pain
Hip pain can easily arise from osteoarthritis. Tight glute muscles could also easily exacerbate hip pain. To eliminate this pain, consider doing the:
This stretch targets the hip muscles that mostly cause pain. Start by lying on your side with your knees bent at 45 degrees and your legs stacked. While ensuring that your heels are touching, raise your upper knee high without shifting your hips. Hold this position for two seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times before switching to the other side.
(resistance band not required)
You can do this exercise on your floor or bed. Start by lying on your stomach while placing a pillow right below your hips. Bend one of your knees at 90 degrees and lift it up straight. Lower it slowly while counting to five. Repeat this eight to twelve times for each knee. Once this exercise becomes easier, you can add some ankle weights to increase its effects.
Standing Hip Abduction
Meant to promote strength and hip stability, adding this exercise to your arsenal might be ideal. It is simple enough to perform twice each day while standing in front of your bathroom sink.
Start by standing while tightening your abdominal muscles. Slowly move one leg sideways and use the other one to maintain balance. Once the leg is completely to the side, hold the position for a few seconds. Commit to three sets of ten per leg.
Get Rid Of Pain Today
Stretching a sore neck or hip could go a long way when it comes to pain relief. The trick is to pick the right stretch while also performing it perfectly. Consider using the stretches above to reduce the discomfort you feel each morning.