Considering our busy schedule and increasingly sedentary lifestyle, back, neck and muscle pain have become a common thing nowadays. Millions of people suffer from these problems every day. The causes are the same – it’s either too much time spent in front of the desk, or standing for a prolonged period. Spending a lot of time on the computer typing stuff isn’t great for our muscles, and can easily make them stiff and painful.
In order to relieve the pain in their muscles, neck and back, we rely on painkillers and certain creams, but that’s only a temporary solution. Instead of treating muscle pain, you should make the effort to resolve the underlying problem, and stretching is a good place to start.
Besides boosting your blood flow and energizing your body, stretching can relax your muscles and joints. Regular stretching can prevent injuries while working out or simply help you go through the day. Stiff and painful muscles don’t work the same as stretched muscles, and can prevent you from doing many activities.
For best results, you should stretch before and after a workout, as this allows the muscles to grow. Hold the stretched for 20-30 seconds in order to relax them, and stretch the chronically tight areas more often. If you need extra support, use it. Additionally, if your muscles are too stiff, you can use magnesium oil topically.
When stretching, it’s best to go slow. Rapid motions can injure your muscles and make the pain worse. If you’re sore after a workout or you have a muscle injury, DON’T stretch – it might feel good, but it will definitely make the problem worse.
The best stretches against muscle pain
The stretches you can see below were chosen by Dr. Marilyn Moffat from the University of New York. They are aimed at resolving your neck, back and muscle pain and should be held for up to a minute. If you feel any kind of discomfort, however, it’s best to stop and visit a doctor.
All of these stretches are performed while sitting comfortably on a chair. Keep your back straight and align the neck with the spine before beginning with the process.
Sit on a chair with your back straight and turn your head to the left, holding for 30 seconds before facing forward. Repeat the stretch to other side.
Tilt your head on one side, then grab the opposite side ear with your hand and let your arm stretch the neck without pulling. Go as much as you’re comfortable with, then repeat the stretch on the other side.
Cross your arms on the chest and look over one of your shoulders, then rotate your trunk, hold, then go back facing forward and repeat on the other side.
This stretch requires you to only stretch on the back of the chair for as much as you can. Don’t go too far, though, as you might injure yourself.
Trunk lateral flexion
Sit with your legs crossed and stretch to one side, then put the opposite hand diagonally over your head and stretch well. Repeat the trunk lateral flexion on the other side.
Bend over in the chair down to the floor, but make sure your neck is in a comfortable and pain-free position.
Put your right arm behind your back with the palm side down, then try to reach it with your other hand from the bottom. Hold for as much as you can, then switch hands and repeat the stretch.
While standing upright, bend one leg behind you and grab it with your hand, while lifting the other hand up towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other side.
Bend on a wall and stretch one of your legs behind you, while bending the other knee towards the wall. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat with your other leg.
Lay down on a yoga mat and extend your legs, then bend one and lift it up, then bring the knee to your chest and hold. Repeat the stretch with the other leg.
This stretch requires a towel or workout band if you have one. While lying on the floor, lift one of your legs up as much as you can, then wrap the band or towel around it and try lifting higher. Hold for half a minute then repeat with the other leg.
Bend your legs at the knees while lying back down on the floor, then cross one leg over the other right above the knee. Hold for as much as you can, then repeat it with the other leg.