Coming back from a sports injury or a chronic pain condition isn't always easy. There is plenty of recovery that goes into it. But if you keep up with preventative measures to protect your body, you'll be able to live with less pain and dramatically decrease the chances of enduring another similar injury. Whether you suffer from neck, back, knee, or any other kind of pain, take a look at a few of these effective stretches that will help alleviate much of your pain.
- Knee to Chest Stretch For The Lower Back: The lower back is one of the most common areas for people to experience pain whether it came upon them mysteriously or was caused by a recent injury. Depending on the severity of the lower back pain, there are a few things you can do. Obviously, if the pain is unbearable, you will need to see a pain specialist and potentially a physical therapist. However, if the pain is minor and paired with some stiffness in the muscles, you can try this effective stretch. Start by lying down on your back on a flat surface. Before lifting your legs up off of the flat surface, it is extremely vital that you keep your lower black planted firmly into the flat surface. There is no greater way to aggravate and worsen lower back pain that by performing an exercise such as this one incorrectly. Many people make the mistake of lifting their lower back off of a flat surface when they do this exercise. This will only cause more harm to your back. Remembering to keep your lower back completely flat on the surface. Lift one knee and pull it in toward your chest. Hold the stretch for a few seconds remembering to inhale and exhale deeply. Alternate knees to get a deep stretch on both sides. Once you have completed a few rounds of single knee to chest stretches, pull both knees into your chest. Hold this for thirty seconds before releasing and repeating two more times.
- Wall Hamstring Stretch For The Knee: Lots of people who experience knee pain don't realize that stiff hamstring muscles could be the culprit behind their suffering. If you have recently done a hardcore lower body workout and are now walking around with extremely sore muscles plus some irritating knee pain, you'll probably need to do a couple hamstring stretches for relief. Start by lying face up on a flat service. You will need either a resistance band or a wall to help you complete this stretch. Raise your right leg up into the air keeping it as straight as possible (the wall you raise it up against or the resistance band you use will make this easier for you). Hold your leg up vertically for about five seconds before slowly lowering it to the ground and alternating this stretch with your left leg. Aim to do approximately ten to fifteen rounds of this exercise and remembering to flex your foot while it is in the hold.
- Behind The Back Stretch For The Neck: You don't need to be in an accident or injure yourself during a sports game to be familiar with the pain of a stiff or sore neck. Whether you slept on it wrong in bed or worked too long at your desk, sore necks can creep up on anyone unexpectedly. So what are you supposed to do when you have a sore neck? Certainly not suffer through it! There are many gentle stretches you can do for immediate and long-term relief. One of the best neck stretches you can do from literally anywhere is the behind the back stretch. Start by standing with your legs spread shoulder width apart. Reach both arms behind your back and interlace your fingers. While keeping your posture straight, slowly pull your arms away from your back. For an even deeper neck stretch, tilt your ear to your shoulder. Hold this for a few seconds before doing it again on the other side.
- Piriformis Seated Stretch For Sciatica: This stretch is also a pose commonly done in yoga. By doing this stretch, you are targeting the piriformis muscle and gradually lengthening it over time. When people suffer from sciatica or radiating leg pain, it is usually because of problems with this muscle. But by practicing this simple seated stretch a few times every day, there is a high likelihood that you will no longer experience such excruciating pain. To begin, seat yourself on a towel or yoga mat. Making sure your back is completely straight, cross your left leg over your right leg. Tuck your right foot in toward your backside with your left foot pulled in toward your thigh. Take your right arm and place it in front of your left leg and very slowly twist into the stretch. Once you have reached as far as you can go, hold this stretch for about twenty seconds before repeating it on the other side. Aim to do this stretch three times on both sides.
- Wall Calf Stretch For Overworked Calves: The calves are often an overlooked and neglected body part. Since they don't often cause us pain (unless we've worked a little too hard at the gym), we won't bother to stretch them out properly. But when calves are neglected, they can also have a harmful effect on knee joints, thus leading to knee pain. If you are extra sore from a long-distance run or some high-intensity jump rope, make sure to stretch out your calves to avoid further problems. To do this simple stretch, flex your right foot up against a wall while keeping your heel on the ground. Keep your leg as straight as possible without bending your knee and keep your toes elevated. Hold this pose for thirty seconds to get a deep stretch throughout your calf. This is a very necessary stretch for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. Doing this regularly will prevent pain from occurring in the knee. Once you have stretched one side for thirty seconds, repeat on the other foot. Do this stretch as many times as needed to relieve some of the tightness.
- Seated Heart Opener For The Upper Body: This pose will actively stretch and open the chest, shoulders, and neck in a soothing manner. Although it is very effective, it should only be done if you aren't suffering from chronic back pain or another serious injury. This stretch should only be done by those who are enduring mild pain and discomfort and tension in their upper body. To do this stretch, get on a towel or a yoga mat with your knees on the ground. Position your palms face down on the floor directly behind your feet. Steadily begin to lean your upper body back behind you and hold this pose for several seconds. Get an even deeper stretch, particularly in your neck, by dropping your head behind you with your gaze up toward the ceiling. Without putting too much pressure on your lower back, push your heart out in front of you to get a deep stretch throughout your chest and shoulders.
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