Pain often results from a lack of flexibility in muscles and joints. There are stretches for every virtually every part of the body. Because pain is often caused by tension or misalignment in another part of the body, it can be beneficial to stretch the neck to help with arm pain, for example. This article will discuss stretches to address pain in specific parts of the body. These stretches should not replace medical advice or attention, and may not alleviate your pain altogether.
Neck and Arm Pain
Repetitive motion on computers and a variety of other activities such as driving can result in pain in the forearms, elbows and upper arms. Arm pain is often due to problems in the neck. Spending 5 to 10 minutes stretching your neck, 3 to 5 times each day, can greatly reduce arm pain. Slowly rotate the head in a circle in different directions, and then try to press the ear to the shoulder on the same side while keeping the opposite shoulder down. Bend the head forward and then backwards gently and slowly just until you feel a slight stretch. Stretching the scalines is really important for arm pain. Pretend you are trying to look up at the upper corner on the right and then the left side of the room while keeping your shoulders down. You should feel a stretch along the side of your neck.
It’s also important to stretch the arms and wrists themselves. Stretch each arm out across the chest using the opposite arm to help elongate the arm and hold it in place. Put your left arm straight out in front of you and use the right hand to bend the left hand down, until the left fingers are pointing to the ground. Turn the palm face up and gently stretch the fingers back. You can stretch the upper arms using the corner of a wall. Make a circle with your index finger and thumb on your right hand. Stretch your right arm out to the side and put the index finger and thumb on the part of the wall that goes in the same direction. Step forward until you feel a stretch in the right arm.
Increasing flexibility in the shoulders not only helps shoulder pain, but can help alleviate arm pain as well. It’s important to keep the shoulders down versus unconsciously tensing them up toward the ears. Consciously working the shoulders, such as doing a slow and exaggerated shoulder shrug with both shoulders or one at a time, can help you become aware of your shoulder position while also increasing the flexibility. Slow shoulder rolls and just going forward and backward are also excellent.
Upper Back Pain
The above mentioned shoulder work will help loosen up the upper back. You can also try pressing the shoulder blades together with your head facing straight ahead. Another good stretch involves bringing the arms straight up and aligned with the ears and also bringing your arms out to the side.
Lower Back Pain
Stretch the lower back by lying on your back and bringing your knees to your chest. Then roll gently from side to side. Then bring one knee further up and straighten the other leg while still lifted. The lower back also loosens up with gentle seated twists, or stretching one arm over the head to the side. This exercise stretches the side of your body.