Chiropractic Care & Sports Injuries
If you are an athlete, you understand the demands your sport can place on your body. Unfortunately, all sports present injury risks and an injury can set you back regardless of your skill level. Recent studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can help athletes recover from various injuries. Our chiropractors will diagnose and treat the source of your pain and create a full rehabilitation program designed to your unique needs so that you can get back in the game feeling your best.
Common Sports Injuries
Athletes can suffer from injuries due to impact, repetitive motion, improper form, overtraining, failure to warm up, and accidents that can happen in a variety of ways depending on the activity and sport. We can treat a variety of sports-related injuries and conditions including:
- Back pain
- Herniated discs
- Joint injuries
- Knee injuries
- Neck pain
- Pinched nerves
- Pulled muscles
- Shin splints
It is important to seek treatment even if you think the injury may be minor as many injuries are overlooked and treated with rest alone, increasing the odds that they will heal improperly and cause chronic pain later. If an injury is left untreated pain can spread to other areas that may not even be directly related to the injury itself as your body tries to compensate and rebalance itself.
How We Can Help
As chiropractors, we use a variety of non-invasive methods to help you find relief and get back to the sport you love.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can realign vertebrae and alleviate pain, soreness, and aches from sports injuries. When your spine is aligned, this can alleviate tension in the body caused by misalignments and decrease inflammation as well as allow your nervous system to function optimally.
Massage therapy can also be used to help relieve stiff muscles, improve blood flow, to accelerate pain relief and recovery. We can also advise on physical therapy stretches and exercises to help you regain mobility and function at full strength.
Here are some recommendations on how to best avoid injuries and complications in the future:
- Don’t exercise through pain. If it hurts, stop. Working out should feel challenging but not painful. Even when you are done, your body shouldn’t hurt, but feel mildly sore and invigorated.
- Exercise at the proper level. If you are a beginner, start slowly and steadily. This will make you stronger at a faster pace than trying to run fast right away.
- Proper form and equipment use is important, so it’s always best to consult with a professional. Improper form leads to injury and is a waste of your exercise. Quality, not quantity, will get you results.
- Remember to stretch before and after working out and to always warm up beforehand. This will help lengthen your muscles so they can become more limber.
- Vary your workouts and take time to rest between them. You shouldn’t exercise the same muscles, in the same manner, every day. Exercise tears down muscles and it is the healing that makes them grow stronger!
If you are suffering from a sports-related injury and would like help on the path to recovery, we are here for you! Our chiropractors will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan based on your sport and condition so that you can heal naturally and get back onto the field as soon as possible without further complication. For more information on how we can help with sports-related injuries or to schedule a consultation, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.
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Between Visits: 4 Easy Stretches for Lower Back Pain
Whether you’ve heard it in a kid’s show or remember the original song by Delta Rhythm Boys, “Dem Bones” is a familiar favorite that reminds you that:
“The hip bone’s connected to the back bone
The back bone’s connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone’s connected to the head bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!”
Everyone from your science teacher to your chiropractor has reminded you that everything is connected; that when one part of your body is affected, it influences the rest of your body to react accordingly. This concept often influences how we at Tuck Clinic build a conservative care plan around the unique state of your body and the pain you experience. This is especially is especially relevant when dealing with low back pain that trickles down into sciatica and leg pain.
A comprehensive care plan should go beyond clinical adjustments and extend into small adjustments in your daily life. After all, in order to feel better, you must live better! In between visits, there are a a few things you can do to keep your back happy and healthy. Stretching your body releases toxins and allows your muscles to reach their full spectrum of movement in a slow and safe manner, providing therapeutic relief. When you stretch the right muscles in your legs and hips, they also open up various back muscles, providing you with relief and improved flexibility.
Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and you should consult with your doctor to identify any mobility limitations you should consider before attempting these stretches.
Resting Pose or Child’s Pose
To get into position, begin with your knees on the floor either together underneath you or spread apart and fold over your legs with your arms outstretched in front of you. As your tailbone stretches backward, try to reach your hands forward, lengthening the spine and opening your hips.
Affected Muscles: Hips, Lower, Middle and Upper Back, Shoulders
Additional Benefits: Stress Relief -This stretch presents very little strain and a whole lot of relaxation!
Lying Knee to Chest + Twist
As another passive pose, you get into position by starting with lying on your back. With one of your legs straight out, bring your other leg towards your chest and hold. Then, slowly bring your knee over your body to the opposite side, resting it on the floor. For an extra stretch, bring both arms straight out into the shape of a T.
Affected Muscles: Piriformis muscles, Paraspinal Muscles, chest, and shoulders
Additional Benefits: Twisting the abdomen strengthens your center and activates the digestive process.
Piriformis Seated Stretch
Begin this pose sitting straight up. Cross one leg over the other, with the lower leg lying down, tucked in under the opposite hip and the top leg with your knee pointed upwards with your foot placed next to your thigh. Place your arm around your top leg to pull inward, stretching the top leg. Be sure to continue to sit up straight.
Affected Muscles: Piriformis muscles, thigh muscle, lower back
Additional Benefits: Practicing positive posture
This stretch can be performed standing or sitting, based on your personal preference and level of mobility. Keep legs straight out with knees slightly bent to protect your knee joints and tendons. Bend over legs with a straight back. Do not sacrifice the strength of your back to reach closer to your toes. If you take this pose standing, you can grab your arms at your elbows to encourage gravity to stretch you further.
Affected Muscles: Hamstring, Lower Back, Upper Back
Additional Benefits: If taken standing, blood flow to the head improves circulation.
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High and Low Impact Activities Everyone Can Do
Many of us know staying active is vital to living a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, boost your immune system, and prevent weight gain.
As we continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, you may be finding it difficult to exercise or maintain your exercise routine. However, exercise is more important than ever during these stressful times. We’ve provided some high and low impact activities as well as a few tips to help you get your body moving while following the CDC guidelines.
High Impact Activities
High impact activities are exercises that often require both feet to come off the ground while working out. These activities are called high impact because once your body leaves the ground, gravity forces you back down. This causes your feet to hit the ground with pressure often similar to carrying twice your bodyweight.
Some of the benefits of high impact exercises include an increased heart rate, improved bone density and cardiovascular strength, better balance and stability, and increased stamina.
High impact activities may not be ideal for those who have pre-existing injuries, have joint conditions, or have excess weight. This doesn’t mean that people with these conditions should not do high impact activities, but that they should be added into exercise routines in moderation. Incorporating a few high impact activities into a low impact routine is a great starting point that will help strengthen your body and burn calories. Some high impact workouts include:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jumping Lunges
- Jumping Rope
- Squat Jumps
Low Impact Activities
Low impact activities are exercises that often keep at least one foot on the ground while you are working out. Your joints absorb far less of an impact during these workouts making them ideal for those with pre-existing injuries, chronic inflammatory conditions, or beginners.
Don’t be fooled by the term “low-impact.” You can still achieve an excellent workout with low impact activities, but you may have to work a little harder. Some low impact exercises include:
- Exercises on Elliptical Machines
- Strength Training
By adding a mixture of low and high impact activities to your workout routine, you will be able to strengthen various muscle groups and provide your joints with rest when needed. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to exercising, so it may take time to find the right combination of activities that work for you. Remember, the key is to sit less and move more so that you can live a healthy life.
Tips for Exercising During The Pandemic
Right now, it can be tempting to skip your workouts or feel unmotivated due to closures of gyms and fitness centers. However, there are a lot of great resources and activities for you to utilize during these times.
Get outside if you can while practicing social distancing. Go for a walk, run, bike ride, or hike on a nearby trail and get some much-need fresh air and sunshine. It will not only get your blood pumping but also benefit your mental health.
For those who are missing the atmosphere of the gym, consider taking advantage of virtual classes or looking up some online exercise routines to regain the community feel and keep you motivated.
Though it is recommended that adults get at least 35-60 minutes of exercise a day, that doesn’t mean it has to be all at once. Consider breaking up your workouts so that you can fit them into your schedule better. Remember to follow a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy and listen to your body.
For more information on how to stay active and the benefits of regular exercise, contact Tuck Clinic today.
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At-Home Self-Care Part 3: 3 Low Back Exercises to Stabilize Your Spine
While some lower back pain can occur as a result of injury, some pain is simply a result of a sedentary lifestyle that leads to weakness of muscles surrounding the spine and supporting the body. When at-home stretching and strengthening exercises are paired with spinal manipulation therapy, patients can experience further relief from pain and strengthening and prevent in the long term.
In part three of our spinal self-care series, we’re going to share three helpful exercises that allow you to improve your range of motion, reduce pain, and stabilize your spine. After an injury and initial adjustment, it’s important to slowly build up your injured muscles to protect your spine prior to trying more difficult strengthening exercises. By building a foundation, you’re creating the support your spine needs to begin strengthening and continue to be aligned.
Here’s Dr. Delaney McMann of our Bedford Clinic to talk through these three exercises:
1. Belly Breathing
Deep, purposeful belly breathing may not sound like the exercise you’d expect to use for strengthening, but it’s a key step toward building a core that can support your spine properly. During a deep belly breath, your diaphragm is expanded with the help of your abdominal muscles. The longer and deeper your breathing becomes, the harder your abdominal muscles will be working and strengthening.
For this exercise, lay flat on your back with one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Make sure as you breathe in that your chest does not rise fully. Only breathe into your belly. The goal is to work up to a 12 second inhale, but starting small is always best. Repeat 5 times per day.
2. Pelvic Tilt
While laying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet comfortably on the ground. Making sure your low back remains on the floor, and tilt your pelvis up and in. You should feel the contraction of your muscles in your lower back. Hold for a belly breath, then relax.
Next, flatten your back, pushing it down towards the floor to close the space between your spine and the ground. You should feel the tightening in your abdominal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise 20 times in the morning and 20 times in the evening.
You can also take this move on an exercise ball. With your legs at a right angle and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Use only your pelvis, keeping your knees still, to tilt forward and backward. You can also try to move your pelvis in a circular motion for added strengthening in your side abdomen.
3. Side Plank
While side planks can be challenging because it requires both strength and balance, working on these two elements combined is a great way to stabilize your muscles. Lay on your side with your lower forearm on the ground and your feet stacked together. Position your elbow directly below the shoulder to keep your body aligned properly.
From here, press into your bottom forearm and lift your pelvis off the ground, keeping your feet together. If you need more stability, try separating your feet or leaving your knees on the ground. Belly breathe while you hold your plank for 30 seconds.
Make sure you repeat this exercise on both sides for even strengthening. Though our muscles aren’t typically symmetrical in strength, it’s a good goal to work towards. Do this exercise 2-3 times daily.
Practicing these exercises daily will help to stabilize your muscles so that you can take on more complex strengthening exercises later in your treatment. These exercises will reduce the likelihood of re-injuring yourself and help you find further relief from lower back pain!
If you’re ready to take control of your spinal self-care, the doctors at Tuck Chiropractic would love to help you on your journey! Schedule an appointment today.
Stay tuned for the final installment of our spinal self-care series where we explore more complex strengthening exercises for your back!
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At-Home Self-Care Part 2: 5 Stretches to Loosen Lower Back Tension
We’re continuing our spinal self-care series by talking about what to do after your first few adjustments! Stretching out tight muscles surrounding the spine is key to recovery and healing after an injury.
Inflammation often causes tightness in the muscles surrounding our spine. It’s your body’s way of attempting to protect itself from movements that could cause further damage. Without stretching, the body will tighten up more and more over time and will slow down the healing process. Here are six stretches you can do anywhere to loosen your muscles. The first three focus on your lumbar spine while the second set focuses on your sacrum.
While laying on your back, grab each leg behind the knee and pull them towards your chest. If you have difficulty reaching your legs, you can put a towel behind your knees to use to pull upward. This stretch can also be done one leg at a time. Hold for thirty seconds at a time.
You should feel this stretch in your lower back and glutes. If this stretch causes back pain to move into your legs or if you have existing sciatica pain, ask your doctor for an alternative.
2. Seated Flexion
While sitting comfortable on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, lean forward so that your torso hangs between your legs. Allow your body to relax and let gravity pull you into a gentle stretch. Do not strain your back to force yourself forward and downward by pulling on your legs or chair. You should feel this stretch in your lower back and glutes. Hold for thirty seconds at a time.
3. Hamstring Stretch
While standing, place your heel on an elevated service at approximately knee height. Maintain a neutral or straight spine, avoiding arching your lower back. Bending at the hip, til your torso forward.
You can also take this stretch laying down on your back at a doorway or wall. Lift your leg up and rest the heel on the doorway or wall. You should feel this stretch in the back of your thigh and possibly behind your knee. Hold for 30 seconds on each leg.
4.Figure Four Stretch
While sitting in a chair, cross the ankle of the affected side to your opposite knee, creating a figure four. Lean forward slightly while keeping your back straight, bend at the hips rather than rounding your back.
You can also take this stretch on your back. After crossing the affected ankle over the opposite knee, grab the knee and pull it towards your chest. Hold gently for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in your gluteal region.
5. Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand in a split-stance or lung position with one foot placed on the ground behind you. Bend your front knee slightly until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
You can also take this stretch on your back on the edge of a bed. Allow your leg to hang off the side. Use your hands to pull the opposite leg towards your chest. You should feel this stretch in the front of your thigh and in the groin area.
As with any stretch or exercise, it’s important to not over exert yourself or you could injure yourself further. If you have trouble doing any of these stretches, talk with your chiropractor about alternatives. When paired with spinal manipulation therapy, icing, and strengthening exercises, these stretches can help you find relief for your lower back pain.
If you’re ready to take control of your spinal self-care, the doctors at Tuck Chiropractic would love to help you on your journey! Schedule an appointment today.
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How to Avoid Injury When Reviving your Workout Routine
New Year, New You, Right?
It’s a common refrain every January. “This year,” many say, “I’m going to be more physically active.” In fact, according to a survey conducted by NPR and the Marist Poll, 13% of adults who made a New Year’s resolution resolved to work out more, making it the most common resolution.
And truthfully, it’s a great goal to shoot for. Increasing your physical fitness is one of the easiest and best ways to boost your overall health, especially for your heart and muscles.
However, many people sabotage themselves by working out too hard or too long when they’re just starting out. Overexerting your muscles and joints can lead to injury, especially in the early stages of a workout routine when your body isn’t used to the activity.
This year, keep up your workout routine by preventing injuries through these 5 simple steps:
Discuss your resolution with your doctor
As much as you’d like to not admit it, you’re probably not as nimble as you used to be. As we age even into our 20s and 30s, it’s common for our muscles and joints to be sore after a sudden increase in physical activity. For some people, that soreness is natural. For others, especially women over 55 years old and men over 45 years old, it’s a good idea to discuss your new workout routine with your doctor. Your doctor can rule out any eventual problems so you can move confidently toward a more active future.
It can be tempting to overreach and imagine yourself transforming back into the star athlete you were in high school. But after not working out for a long time, it can be dangerous to expect too much from your body too quickly. Instead, opt for a workout routine that makes sense for you. If your knee tends to hurt, choose a low-impact option that keeps your knees healthy but strong.
You might remember stretching before gym class. Turns out, that’s not just to fill up the class period. It’s good to stretch your muscles before exerting them because cold and tight muscles are more likely to get injured. However, how we grew up stretching (holding one position for 10-15 seconds) isn’t considered the best for your muscles. Now fitness experts recommend doing dynamic stretches where you stretch your muscles through movement.
In the same way, it’s smart to gently stretch and cool down your muscles after working out. This keeps your tired muscles from tightening up and can help reduce soreness.
Variety is the spice of life
Exerting the same muscles in a workout day after day can cause undue strain on particular muscles and joints while leaving others relatively untouched. If you tend to workout your arms everyday, instead add in core and leg exercises to keep your whole body strong. Or get out of the gym entirely and go for a hike or a bike ride. Doing various types of physical activity helps prevent overuse injury and keeps you from getting bored with the same workout routine.
Know your body
We all know that working out isn’t a pain-free experience. Your muscles ache when you’re pushing yourself, and in many cases, you should push yourself through a reasonable amount of discomfort. As they say, “No pain, no gain.”
However, know your body well enough to know when you should stop or take a break. Sure, exercise can cause pain, but be sure that you’re not injuring yourself by pushing yourself too much.
If you’re beginning a new workout routine and are experiencing joint or back pain, the chiropractors at Tuck Clinic can help you determine the problem and keep your spine in alignment so you can safely pursue your dreams of a more active lifestyle. Let the experts at Tuck help you feel better so you can live stronger.
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The Long Lasting Effects of Student-Athlete Injuries
The Downside of Sports
Whether in school, rec leagues, or on travel teams, many children participate in sports on a daily or weekly basis. Over 50% of children play at least one sport. In many ways, this is a positive statistic: sports provide children a healthy way to stay active and learn outside of the classroom. However, sports can increase the risk of injury, from broken bones and torn ligaments to brain trauma.
Many of us who played sports as children are dealing with injuries we sustained decades ago. Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain in people in their 20s and 30s who are otherwise healthy and fit. The condition affects 30 million people in the United States. Athletes who suffered from a joint injury in the past are likely to suffer from osteoarthritis, a surprise to many people who believe that osteoarthritis affects only older people.
A Path Forward
One way to treat arthritis is to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, taking NSAIDs like these every day for months can be harmful to your stomach and kidneys and even increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
In an age in which people are beginning to wonder if a pill can solve everything, medical doctors are opening up their minds to chiropractic care. And short of undergoing a surgical procedure like cortisone shots and or even joint replacement, chiropractic care is a non-invasive option that has led to real results in thousands of patients.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are a few things to think about if you’re considering treating arthritis with chiropractic care:
- Chiropractic care is only recommended to treat osteoarthritis. If you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, you should talk to your doctor before visiting a chiropractor.
- Make sure to give your chiropractor your full medical history to rule out any possible issues in treatment.
- Doctors do not recommend getting a chiropractic adjustment on joints that are currently inflamed.
- If an adjustment isn’t possible, chiropractors can use other therapies to help your joints, such as ultrasound therapy and electrotherapy, which increase the circulation in your joints and have been shown to relieve pain and stiffness in joints.
- Though chiropractic care has helped many reduce their symptoms, there is no evidence that chiropractic affects X-ray results for osteoarthritis. So if you’re going to a chiropractor who promises to cure it, switch chiropractors!
The chiropractors at Tuck Clinic are passionate about helping our patients with joint pain. If you’re struggling with old sports injuries, consider chiropractic care as a holistic and natural way to treat your aches and pains.
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Patient Testimonial: Alainna Goodnight
“Been there, done that”
“I’ve been going to different chiropractors since 6th grade,” said Alainna Goodnight. “I’m 5’10” and I’ve always played volleyball and basketball. My back was in pretty bad shape from all of that.”
Alainna periodically suffered from severe back spasms that kept her from being able to walk. “The back spasms were so bad some days that I had to stay home from school,” said Alainna.
When Alainna started her job in Blacksburg, Virginia, several of her coworkers mentioned Tuck Clinic. “They said Tuck was the best,” said Alainna. “I had been to a lot of chiropractors before so I was doubtful, but I wanted to see what all of the hype was about.”
The Tuck Difference
Alainna gave Tuck a shot and was impressed right away. “The initial interview I had with the doctor at Tuck was so thorough. I studied Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Virginia Tech, so I’m really interested in the body and how it works. They explained everything to me about what my spine looked like, how that would manifest in how I walk and feel, and how they could treat it,” said Alainna.
Alainna thought her husband, Curtis, might be able to benefit from chiropractic care, too. “My husband had chronic headaches since he was a kid,” said Alainna. “He didn’t really think it would work. But with my back pain and his chronic headaches, we said we should at least give it a shot.”
Having experienced the benefits of chiropractic before, Alainna knew that it might take a few weeks to begin to tell results. “Sometimes, when your body isn’t used to it, you can feel sore after your first few adjustments. It makes sense if you think about the doctors getting your spine into better alignment after it’s been messed up for so long.”
But after one month, both she and Curtis began to tell a difference. Alainna’s back spasms became less and less frequent, to the point where she can’t remember the last time she had one. And Curtis’ headaches are much improved. “He’ll get the occasional headache, but it is so much better than what it used to be,” said Alainna.
“I feel like it’s dramatically shifted our health,” said Alainna. “It’s been a big change in both of our lives.”
Why Chiropractic Care Matters
Now Alainna and Curtis only get adjustments every month or so, just to make sure their spines and necks stay in a healthy alignment. “I don’t know how people don’t go to the chiropractor,” said Alainna. “In addition to the chiropractors adjusting my spine, they also give me exercises to strengthen my muscles and even help alleviate old sports injuries I got back in high school.” Tuck Clinic has helped Alainna think about and improve her overall physical health.
“You have to prioritize and invest in your health now. The return benefit will be exponentially greater,” said Alainna. “My physical health bleeds into my emotional health which bleeds into my mental health. I’m an all-around better and happier person when I take care of my body.”
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Importance of Pre- and Post-Natal Chiropractic Care
The American Pregnancy Association advocates for chiropractic care before, during, and after pregnancy to support the mother’s body in adapting to her changing body and recovering from labor and delivery. It is a great non-invasive solution that can replace the need for pain medication throughout pregnancy and recovery.
Reducing Complications During Pregnancy
As the body adjusts to make room for your growing embryo, your musculoskeletal system may become misaligned causing a protruding abdomen and increased back curvature, pelvic changes, and postural adaptations to weight. These changes can cause severe back pain and sciatica, intrauterine restriction, and could result in the inability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help your bones and joints adjust to the added weight of carrying your child and reduce pain as a result. Some other benefits of chiropractic during pregnancy include overall improvement in health and controlling symptoms of nausea.
Preparing the Body for Labor & Delivery
One of the biggest ways chiropractic care can help prepare a mother’s body for labor and delivery is through the Webster’s Technique. This gentle adjustment relieves pressure from the sacrum and reduces intrauterine restriction that could prevent the baby from moving into the proper position for birth. The goal of this technique is to prevent an emergency cesarean delivery.
Chiropractic care can also help reduce the time spent in labor and delivery. When pelvic floor strengthening exercises are paired with adjustments, contractions that take place during labor are reportedly less painful and the body is able to prepare for delivery quickly.
The postpartum body requires a significant amount of healing. Loose ligaments need to be strengthened, nerve functioning needs to be restored, and the pelvis and spine are often out of alignment. Therapeutic exercises can be used to recuperate weakened spinal and abdominal muscles and continued chiropractic care can help the spine and nervous system return to normal functioning.
When caring for their newborn, mothers will also experience a new type of strain in the thoracic region as a result of feeding and carrying the baby. Chiropractic adjustments and strengthening techniques can also provide relief in this region. Finally, some research connects chiropractic care to reduction of stress and improved mood – something many mothers struggle with postpartum.
Chiropractic Care for Newborns
The mother isn’t the only one who can benefit from chiropractic care after birth. The birthing process puts a lot of pressure on a newborn’s spine and chiropractic care can help prepare the baby’s spine for the significant growth that happens in the first year. Some research has also shown evidence that chiropractic care can reduce the symptoms and occurence of colic, ear infections, and ADHD in infants and children.
Tell your chiropractor as soon as you think you are pregnant so they can adjust your treatments accordingly. If you are not already seeing a chiropractor, talk to your obstetrician to see if they believe chiropractic care is right for your pregnancy.
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Easy Shoulder Strengthening Exercises
Your shoulders are made up of some of the most complex combinations of bones, joints, tendons, and muscles in the entire body. It’s where your neck, back, and arms come together to support your upper body. That’s why shoulder pain can have a major impact on the overall wellness of your neck and back.
Impact of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can often result in poor posture and pain that extends into the neck and upper back. Pain can stem from strain in the tendons or inflammation in the bones and joints. Regular chiropractic treatment and active therapeutic exercise can work together to reduce the impact of shoulder pain. Here are few simple exercises to make sure you’re doing every thing you can to reduce your pain.
Exercises to Increase Shoulder Strength
Using a row machine, exercise bands, or free weights to build muscle between your shoulder blades is the best way to provide added support for your shoulders. It can improve posture and reduce strain on your upper back and shoulders.
Making sure your back is completely straight, pull exercise band, weights, or machine cables backward, flexing the muscles between your shoulder blades as the main source of strength. Arms can either be up in alignment with your shoulders or down at your side.
Another great way to exercise the muscles between your shoulders is a simple shoulder squeeze that can be done any time, any where! Position your arms like a goal post with your upper arms straight out to your side and your forearms upward. Without moving your arms, begin to move your shoulders backwards by squeezing the muscle between your shoulder blades. It’s helpful to imagine that you’re trying to hold a marker between your shoulders. If you have a tennis ball laying around, you can use it as a prop to get started! Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds at a time.
Bound Locust Pose
While most people perceive yoga to be primarily focused on stretching, there are some positions that are also great for gentle strengthening. A bound locust pose can help you open space in your collar bones and strengthen your trapezius muscles. Laying flat on your stomach with your arms straight behind your back, join your palms together with fingers interlaced. With your feet together, you can choose to raise them or leave them on the ground for leverage as you enter into the pose. Slow lift your chest off the floor, using your back muscles to stabilize. Hold for as long as you can without losing the integrity of the pose. Rest and repeat!
There are plenty of ways to take small measures to create a big impact on the strength of your upper back and shoulders. Ask your chiropractor for specific exercises that fit your unique needs.
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