Hey guys it's almost road trip season which means we are all going to be feeling a bit of neck and back pain soon! Here are some stretches we have compiled to help save your neck and back this season.
The first, a seated spinal twist. Use the head rest to pull your shoulder back while you twist to the side. Add a little extra stretch by pulling on the steering wheel to increase range of motion. Second, embrace that holiday double chin. Push your head back into the head rest but keep your eyes looking straight ahead. This is a chin tuck, not a nod. The more "chins" you form with this one, the better. You are stretching the muscles at the base of your skull that shorten and weaken with frequent forward head posture. Next, take it beside the car. Kick your leg onto your floorboard. Rotate your toes to point to the door. Bend forward. This stretch lengthens your hip adductors. These muscles run along the inner thigh and rarely get the attention they deserve. For our fourth stretch lets hit those quads. They tighten as we sit for hours in the car. Stand on one leg, use the door for support to balance. Bend one knee and reach behind to grab the ankle of the bent leg. Make sure you aren't letting your knee float forward. You want to feel the stretch in the front of the thigh as well as the groin area. Next up, figure four stretch targeting the piriformis muscle. Cross your ankle over the opposite knee. Use the car door for support and you bend at the hips and knee like you are sitting back onto a seat. Finally, don't forget those tight chest muscles from our rounded posture used to grip the steering wheel.
Remember to hold all stretches for 30 seconds. Do not bounce into the stretches. Bouncing actually causes the muscles to tighten more. If these stretches cause pain, stop. If you feel you need a more customized program shoot us a message and one of our providers will reach out to you. We hope our stretches help to reduce pain and stress this holiday season.