Many people think of stretching and immediately associate it with pre or post-workout, but what about adding in some muscle pain relief stretches during your work day?
We are spending a considerable amount of time (approximately 8 hours) seated at our desk during the day, or looking down on our phones or tablets. Surely, we should take some time to think about muscle pain relief. Overtime our bodies will no longer want to deal with the strain caused by static posture. The most common types of pain we experience are neck tension, stiff shoulders, hip and back pain.
We take you through five effective active stretches for your whole body, resulting in increased mobility and muscle pain relief.
Neck Stretch: Hold for 10 seconds, 3x/side
- Bend your head to the right.
- Lower and press down your left shoulder
- Reach forward with your left arm, just below shoulder level.
This is a great neck stretch for overall neck tension and muscle pain relief since it stretches out the upper trapezius muscle, while simultaneously promoting activity of the serratus anterior muscle. Both of these muscles work together to create healthy shoulder movement.
Thoracic Spine Rotations: Complete 5x/side
- Lay on your right side, with your right leg extended and your left knee bent at 90 degrees, propped up with either a foam roller or pillow, to lock out your lumbar spine.
- Outstretch your right arm to shoulder level with your palm facing up, and place your left arm directly on top.
- Slowly start lifting your left arm up, mimicking the motion of an archer, rotating segmentally up the spine to evenly distribute the motion.
- When the back of your left arm reaches the ground on the opposite side of your body, slowly rotate back to the starting position.
This stretch is great for thoracic spine relief. To increase extension and rotation within our thoracic spine. This will also offload the lumbar spine, decreasing back tension.
Hip Flexor Stretch (iliopsoas muscle release): Complete 5x/side
- Start in a kneeling position, with your left leg forward, and your right knee bent behind you.
- Tuck your pelvis under and squeeze your right glute.
- Reach your right arm up and overhead to the left.
- Lift your left arm up to shoulder level and rotate to the left.
This hip flexor stretch helps to offset prolonged sitting by stretching out your anterior hip flexors, especially the psoas, which can pull you into an anterior pelvic tilt.
Pectoralis Wall Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds/side
- Find a doorway or the edge of a wall, and place your left arm against it, with your elbow bent and your arm overhead.
- Sink forward into the stretch.
Stretching out the pectoralis muscle will correct your slouched posture and restore normal shoulder motion.
Hip External Rotator Stretch: Hold for 1 minute/side
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor.
- Place your left heel on your right thigh, just above the knee.
- Lift your right foot off the ground, and hug your right thigh into your chest.
- To intensify the stretch, use your left elbow to push your left knee down and roll your body slightly to the right.
This is an effective stretch to increase hip mobility and reduce sacroiliac joint pain.
These stretches focus on the major muscle groups that usually contribute to neck and low back pain and stiffness. They are super simple and easy to do virtually anywhere! Something as little as spending a few minutes stretching is all you need for muscle pain relief. Small sacrifices daily will help the longevity of your body.