Micro-Move Pain Away
As we age, it can be easy to fall into the trap of accepting chronic pain or less mobility. BUT, it’s easy to avoid this trap if you just MOVE! There are simple ways to rebuild strength, get relief from neck, back, and knee pain and keep your mobility.
The secret is to do basic exercises that strengthen and train your muscles for typical day-to-day movements, such as getting in and out of the car, loading the dishwasher, and putting the groceries away.
Gentle, small ranges of motion you do for short periods of time (called micro-movements) address specific areas of weakness commonly seen with aging or sedentary lifestyles. And these micro-movements will also reduce your risk of injury.
The idea is that if you do small motions for short periods of time, the muscles tissues in your body can become more pliable. After getting into the habit of the small and short exercises, you can move to larger movements and longer periods.
Try these micro-movements one a day:
* Check with your physical therapist before starting any type of new activity.
* Do NOT push through pain. You should not feel a burn when doing these movements.
Nod your head gently up and down 10 times, then turn your head from side to side 10 times. This is especially useful for people who sit a lot.
Lie on your back and inhale through your nose into your abdomen so that your belly rises. Then use your abdominal muscles to push the breath out as you exhale. Do this 10 times time on your back and then roll over and do 10 times on your stomach.
Lie on your back on the floor with the floor supporting your head, neck, and back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Push off the floor with your feet, using your gluteal muscles to raise your hips into the air and then slowly lower them back to the ground. Repeat 5 times.
Lie on your back and grasp your legs just below your knees and pull them to your torso. Your ankles should be crossed and your elbows should point out to each side. Use your head and neck to initiate the movement, roll to your right side and then come to a complete stop before rolling to your left side. Repeat 3-5 times.