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Gentle Stretching Relieves Pain, Improves Flexibility

By Sandy Schroeder

Some people are saying gentle stretching is becoming a new yoga. If you sit all day every day and are beginning to feel the impact, stretching  could be a lifesaver. 

Experts are recommending gentle stretching for results like these: 

Activate motion in the hips - When you sit for hours, the hips tighten and the body responds with pain that can seriously impact mobility. Your hips may be signaling a problem each time you stand up or sit down. To do a quick hip check, lie on your back and bring one knee up to your chest. If the other knee starts to bend as you are pulling up the knee it may mean your hip flexors are tight.  

To loosen hips - Do the bridge yoga pose. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Then raise hips toward the ceiling, hold, and then lower to relieve tight hips and leg muscles. Use this stretch daily to begin loosening the hips. 

Soothe painful back aches - If you ever feel a steady pinching in the lower back you may have tightened back muscles that are sending demands for relief. 

Try a supported twist - Ease the pain and soothe those irritated back muscles with a twist that keeps the spinal muscles mobile and provides lots of relief. Lie on your back and pull knees into the chest. Put a blanket or yoga block between your knees and push shoulders into the mat. Then lower legs to one side and then to the other. Relax in this comfortable twist for five to 10 minutes. 

Hunched neck and shoulders - Put your right hand on the top of your head near your left ear. Gently move your right ear down toward the right shoulder. At the same time use your left hand to reach away from the right hand pull. You will feel the stretch as you slowly ease back into a normal position. 

Do a neck circle - Hold your head as you pull your chin down to the center. Then move over to the right, back to center and over to the left. Slowly repeat the circles on both sides and feel the tightness ease. Whenever you take a break during the day, do these circles to relax and relieve tightness.  

Wherever it hurts, gentle daily stretching may ease the pain and increase your range of motion. Keep adding new stretches that work for you. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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