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Five Simple Exercises to Prevent Injury and Pain

Daily life gets busy and everyone is pressed for time. Using simple exercises and stretches that will keep you healthy and take care of your body, but doesn’t take more than a few minutes every day would work best to fit into most people’s routine. Here are five exercises that take less than ten minutes to do every day to prevent injury, back pain, and help strengthen weak muscles.

The back and neck are two of those areas that are sore on most individuals. Most people seek out massage therapy due to neck pain, back pain, or headaches. As the most common area of treatment, the focus of these exercises is to strengthen the back, ease the neck muscles, and prevent back pain through specific stretches.

The pectoral muscles or chest muscles naturally get tight due to poor posture. Whether you spend most of your time in an office or you are a factory worker, people generally work with their arms and hands in front of them causing their chest muscles to stay in a contracted position for long periods of time and to get tight. This can cause strain on the back muscles as they are constantly put in a lengthened position. This is why strengthening the back muscles and stretching the pectoral muscles is so important. Use a doorway to brace your elbow as your arm is at a ninety degree angle. Step through the doorway with the leg closest to the arm you are bracing while maintaining the arm’s position. You should feel a stretch in the front of your chest. Change up the angle of your elbow by raising or lowering your arm to stretch different fibers of the muscle. Hold this stretch for a minimum of thirty seconds before switching to the other arm and repeating the stretch. Do three sets of this stretch daily with each arm. Strengthen the back by using a theraband that you can get online or at a physio centre. Secure the theraband on a table leg at the middle of the band. Seated and with your arms stretched in front of you, bring your arms straight back to your sides and pinch your shoulder blades together at the back. Repeat this motion fifteen to twenty times. Rest and repeat the set of fifteen to twenty two more times.

Neck pain can occur due to a variety of different reasons. Many people hold tension in the neck which can cause pain and headaches. Others have sore necks due to poor posture while at work. Stretch your neck by stabilizing the shoulder through sitting on your right hand; gently guide your head so that your left ear is brought towards your left armpit. Hold this position for up to thirty seconds. Repeat this stretch on your left side. This stretch should be done three times a day to reduce neck pain and headaches.

Low back pain is generally caused due to weak core muscles and tight hip flexors. Stretch your hip flexors by standing in a lunge position with one foot in front of the other. Tip the bottom of your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. If you still don’t feel a good stretch, reach your hands to the sky like in the yoga position of warrior one. Hold this position for thirty to forty five seconds and repeat with the other leg. This stretch should be done with both legs, three times each. Strengthen your abdominal muscles to support the low back and prevent future back pain by doing a plank. Plank by putting your forearms on the ground and lifting your body to a table position while you are on your toes. Hold this position for up to a minute if possible. Never hold the position if your back, elbows or shoulders are in pain while doing the exercise. If needed, go to your knees to modify the exercise.

Please consult a massage therapist, physiotherapist, or personal trainer if you are ever confused about an exercise and how to perform it correctly. You should never stretch or exercise to the point of pain; listen to your body. Remember to get regular massage treatments to help work out tight, stubborn muscles. If you haven’t had massage therapy in a while, your muscles will thank you if you book a massage today!

All About Joints

Joints are necessary for a body to be in motion. The skeleton is divided into several different bone segments and a joint is where two bones meet one another in the body to allow movement. Although there are many different types of joints in the body, moveable joints are the type of joint that is used to allow the body to be in motion with the help of muscle contraction. There are six different types of a moveable joints found in different areas of the body and three of those are covered below.

The hinge joint should be fairly straight forward as it is similar to a hinge in a door. An example of this type of joint would be your fingers and toes. A hinge limits the movement of a bone to one direction, meaning, when a joint is straight it can bend in only one way. This allows for strength and support. Hinge joints are very common in the body as they allow for movement and motion without decreasing stability.

A saddle joint looks much like two Pringles sitting on top of each other. This type of joint allows for movement in two separate directions as the bones have the ability to move along two different axes. There are only three examples of this type of joint in the human body. There is one at the base of the thumb, one in the ankle, and one at collar bone where it meets with the sternum or breastbone.

A ball and socket joint sounds exactly like it is; a rounded end of a bone fits into a hollowed out portion of another bone or group of bones. There are only two examples of ball and socket joints in the body. The first is your shoulder joint and the second is the hip joint. These types of joints allow for a large degree of range of motion, but they are also not as stable as other joints which can cause issues, such as dislocation.

Massage Therapy can have direct and indirect effects on joints. Indirectly, by loosening the muscles that cross a joint in the body, massage can help relieve pressure on the joint. If tight muscles are causing compression on a joint, massage can help release that tension which can stop joint pain in the body. Directly, massaging around the joint capsule, working on ligaments that hold joints together and tendons that run across the joint can have positive effects. Massage, in this manner, can help relieve joint pain and discomfort. Applying slight distraction to joints may also help with many types of joint pain. Book a massage today to help with your joint pain and discomfort!