“Go lie down!” “Soak it!” “Get some rest!” “Put your feet up!” Have you ever been told one of these after an injury or sprain? All are fine and dandy advice, yet if that’s all we’re doing our muscles can lock up on us. Muscles that don’t move, tighten, and are susceptible to increases in inflammation as well as more pain when we finally get up. Long term rest of muscles can also lead to them becoming weak.
Here’s another approach.
Did you know that you can fight stiffness, tightness, pain, swelling and inflammation by just getting the body moving? Yes, because movement heals! As we age, lack of movement can be detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing.
Get your body moving! The origin of pain is inflammation, and it seems like it nestles in deep when we stop moving. Now, this is not to suggest you immediately go full throttle and train for a marathon, but to implement simple, functional movement to increase the range of motion in the very area experiencing the pain.
If you have a tendency to brace or stiffen up thinking that you’re protecting your injured body parts, I want to let you know that you’re actually dumping more pressure into the injury and causing certain muscles to overwork. Meanwhile the weak muscles stay weak.
Movement is healing and functional movement, like Pilates, using your body to mimic daily gestures will help your body recover, get stronger, and be used efficiently at will. It's the ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement. Once you get the body active again, and not just with stationary stretching, but actual movement, the fluid in the swelling can flow again and pain can go down.
Try this Pilates exercise called Spine Stretch Forward. Though it has stretch in its name is more of a dynamic movement that works to elongate the spine thus increasing space in stiff lower backs, aids in opening areas of tightness in the mid and upper back as well as hamstrings, improves pelvic stability, and helps the shoulder blades move more easily.
Begin Still tall on the floor or mat with the legs straight and open to the width of your hip bone to no wider than the width of your shoulders. Allow the body to sit on top of your sitz bones, but be certain not to collapse onto them. Send energy through the crown of the head to maintain lift in the torso. Extend the arms in front of you at chest height.
Inhale to engage and pull the low abdominals in toward your lower back. Allow the mid and upper back to respond and round over while reaching the arms forward until you are looking at the floor or mat. Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears. Hold this position for a second.
Exhale to maintain the shoulder position and again draw the low abdominals toward the lower back. Come up stacking your spine like tuna fish cans on a shelf. Repeat 4-6 times. *Do not try to touch your toes (which is not the point of the exercise), and if your hamstrings are too tight to sit in this position, sit on a rolled up towel instead for support.
Pilates focuses on abdominal engagement to implement whole body movements that mimic how we naturally move when walking, tying a shoe, or bending over for instance. Pilates also trains the mind and body to work together and use itself more effectively to increase flexibility, balance, agility, and strength, while reducing body fatigue and injury.
Knee pain X
Pain in joints X
Text Neck X
Common ailments like sciatica, lower back issues, knee pain, joint and hip dysfunctions, and even text neck can be effectively managed, drastically reduced and in some cases eliminated just by keeping yourself mobile. Think of movement as lubrication for your muscles, a natural greasing if you will, because when the body is active it is also healing. You don’t have to live with daily pain. I say it all the time, “When you move the pain moves too!”
Don’t know where to start to GET RID OF PAIN? Book a free call with me to learn how I can help you live your best life PAIN FREE.