Anyone who has ever visited a chiropractor knows the importance of stretching. Surely your chiropractor has recommended stretching as part of your daily routine to keep your muscles and spine flexible, and to keep your blood flowing. When a chiropractor performs an adjustment, the blood circulates more freely; patients should take advantage of this and try to maintain this condition between visits. If your chiropractor has not discussed at-home stretching in detail or you have gotten a bit rusty, there are a few easy ways to get back into the game.
Before you begin moderate stretches, do some light activity to get your muscles warmed up. It may sound strange to be active before stretching, as we usually do the opposite. However, your initial activity does not need to be strenuous; taking a brisk walk around the block or a few light callisthenic exercises will work just fine. Once you are a little looser, then you may begin your stretching regimen.
There are two basic types of stretching; static and dynamic. Static stretching involves placing your body in certain positions, for a small amount of time, to loosen the muscles. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves moving parts of your body to improve flexibility. Both are important as they promote different parts of your body. Your chiropractor can give you more information on stretches that will benefit your body the most, but there are a few common stretches that can be done at home by anyone who wants to loosen up.
A common stretch that chiropractors tend to recommend is called “cat pose,” in the yoga world. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Allow your abdomen to lower down towards the floor and then reverse by arching your back. Repeat this cycle three to five times for maximum results.
Another animal stretch, known as the “Scorpion,” will promote healing in back muscles, especially if you suffer from chronic pain there. Lie face-down and stretch your arms out to the sides. Slowly move your right foot towards your left arm and then do the same on the opposite side. Do this in a very gentle and calm manner, as this stretch is meant to loosen the muscles lightly.
By stretching regularly, chiropractic patients can not only boost their regular adjustments but also help their bodies stay healthy. Ask your chiropractor for specific stretches that will help maximize your treatment plan.