We sit…most of us…hunched over a computer or desk all day.
And then we sit at night to relax after a long day at work.
We used to be active but the Information Age has changed all that.
So, we find our backs, shoulders, necks and even our joints achy and painful.
Taking frequent breaks to walk and stretch is a great way to counteract too much sitting and help maintain good posture.
Get your doctor’s permission, then try these simple stretching exercises:
- Circle Those Shoulders – Roll them backwards slowly in a circle, keeping your back straight. This will open your chest and put your shoulder blades back on your back. Do some forward rolls, too, but always end with backwards rolls. Do five repetitions each direction and repeat any time you notice shoulder pain or tension.
- Tuck Your Chin – This gentle stretch is good for your head and neck…which can cause shoulder and back pain. Push your chin toward your neck, aligning your ears over your shoulders. This small movement will neutrally align your vertebrae. You should feel your neck lengthen and a slight pull on the back of your neck. Start with five or ten repetitions and repeat as the perfect antidote whenever you’re feeling tight.
- Shoulder On – This cross-body stretch will stretch your shoulders and improve their joint rotation. Bring one arm across your body at chest level. With the opposite hand, pull your arm above the elbow, close to your shoulder, and bring it toward your body. Hold for 30 seconds. To vary the stretch, change the angle of your arm as it crosses your body. You should feel this in the muscle and soft tissue.
- Meow and Moo – The basic cat/cow yoga stretch is good for most levels of fitness and gets everything moving gently. Do it any time of day or night as a stretch for your upper back, abdomen and shoulders. It also requires weight bearing, which is good for the shoulder joint. Do five to ten slow stretches in each direction.
Listen to your body and if at any time these stretches cause you pain, stop.
Dr. Silverman is committed to fitness and keeping your body strong and pain-free.
If you have questions or concerns, call for a consultation.