20 Dec For a Healthy Spine and Lifelong Mobility, Make Sure to Stretch!
Maintaining good mobility is vital to staying active throughout your life. The adage “use it or lose it” certainly applies to your range of motion. So don’t neglect stretching, which plays a key role in achieving and preserving your ease of movement. As your chiropractic treatments at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic help to improve your mobility, remember to add stretching to your regular exercise plan to seal the deal.
How You Benefit from Stretching
When you don’t stretch muscles, they become shorter, weaker, and tighter. That sets you up for injury and declining mobility. People working in jobs that involve lots of sitting are especially prone to joint and muscle damage as their leg muscles become tighter.
Regular stretching helps lengthen muscles, leading to improved flexibility and range of motion. And stretching delays potential mobility losses that come with aging.
Here are some other bonuses of stretching:
- Improved blood flow that relieves muscle tension and promotes healing
- Better performance in sports and physical tasks, with lower risk of injury
- Improved posture resulting from good spinal alignment
- Reduction in stress through practicing meditation and mindfulness while stretching
- Easing of tension headaches and other body aches
- Energy boost from improved circulation and pain relief
How to Stretch Safely and Effectively
Start slowly if you haven’t stretched recently. Check with your doctor, chiropractor or other health professional before you start if you have an injury or condition that stretching could affect.
Plan to stretch every day, or at least 4 days a week. If you’re not exercising first, warm up muscles with 5 or 10 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as jogging or walking.
Know the difference between two common types of stretching. Static stretches, best done after exercise, involve holding your stretch position for 10 to 30 seconds. In dynamic stretches, you perform active movements to prepare your muscles for exercise, without holding the stretch position.
Don’t bounce while stretching. You should feel tension, not pain.
Use moderation. Don’t stretch the same muscles too frequently each day or you risk overuse injury.
Best areas to stretch for improved mobility include:
- Quadriceps (front of thigh)
- Hip flexors
- Lower back
Try this simple neck stretch: stand with shoulders relaxed. Gently tilt your head sideways toward your right shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
Stretching as Part of Your Chiropractic Wellness Program
Stretching works along with your chiropractor’s treatment toward common goals: good mobility and pain relief.
When you don’t exercise properly, your muscles may shorten unequally, leading to imbalances that throw your spine out of alignment. Stretching the muscles in your upper body and lower back helps you maintain good posture and keep your spine aligned between chiropractic visits.
A custom stretching plan tailored to your needs and abilities can help you avoid injuries from sports and other activities. Improved circulation, flexibility, posture, and pain relief will help you enjoy an active life for years to come.
Call our Broken Arrow Office to Book Your Free Consultation
For support with your plan for better mobility, contact Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic today at 918-940-4630.