Maybe you are already doing this, but a lot of people are not stretching or getting basic treatments as often as we could, or doing them a less optimal way. Try adding these simple stretches and treatments to your existing routine. Anything that enables more blood flow promotes healing. Blood flow can be increased through simple things such as exercise, stretching, getting a massage or applying a heat pack
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Improving or maintaining range of movement is often achieved through exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and mobility (often simply called stretching). Stretching is a good way to relieve existing stress in muscles and prevent. Below are some stretches you can do in the office in 2 minutes.
In the example below, I am stretching across my upper back, whilst resisting my arm against my leg to strengthen the position. My other arm is gentle pushing against the back of the chair to stretch my chest whilst strengthening the arm hold.
In the example below and to the right, there are lots of cues, so be sure to save it for a ‘good day’.
You start by sitting in ‘side saddle’ position on a chair as shown on the left, tucking your hip a little to lengthen your hip flexors. Then, with navel in, extend your position to align over your knee, using many muscles! Always remember to draw down your shoulders and relax them.
This position is to stretch the chest and arms whilst engaging your back and postural mus- cles. Weight placed evenly through your feet, and alignment under hips allows core engage- ment, alignment and minimal loading through joints.
Sit tall and towards the font of the chair, with feet even and under hips. Gently curl you hand under the back of the chair to facilitate a support base. Creep your hand further back to lengthen the side that you are stretch- ing, then gently tilt your head diago- nally to the opposite side. By focusing on extending your arm further, there is less pressure on the side of the neck that you are leaning towards. Note: you should feel the stretch primarily on the side that you are leaning away from.
Massage can be excellent for promoting targeted blood flow within the body. Massaging an inflamed area may cause further irritation, however when used as a preventative measure, massage can relieve tension of a particular part of the body.
Massage is a very effective way of relaxing the muscles and reducing pain.
If you find regular massage is too painful, Bowen therapy is very light and may be helpful to your injury.
Self-massage is another way to help manage your pain. You use your hand to massage the affected area or a hard rubber ball or even a battery-operated massager. Depending on where your overuse injury is will determine which massage technique or instrument is best e.g. massage ball‘ battery-operated massager or a therapist will work best.
Heat can be applied in various ways including heat packs, heat wheat packs, warm water, or hot water bottles. Run yourself a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles.
Cold packs can be very useful in reducing inflammation and pain and are best used immediately after the activity that caused your pain.
Running the affected area under cold water can ease pain or you can apply ice in short intervals for 40 to 60 seconds with no more than 10 to 15 applications of ice per day. Remember to have a piece of cloth between you and the ice. Otherwise, you risk frostbite.
Don’t let it sit on your body! You may need to experiment with which method works best for you.