If you suffer from chronic pain, stiff ligaments, tight muscles, or frequent injuries, Dr. A. Christopher Oswald may prescribe stretching and strengthening exercises on top of any joint adjustments or other treatments you may need.
These exercises can play a vital role in helping you regain control of your body, improve your range of motion, and enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle. Here's a look at some of the remarkable ways stretching and strengthening exercises can boost your quality of life, along with some specific examples of exercises Dr. Oswald might recommend.
The Value of Stretching and Strengthening Your Body
Exercise, in general, has shown some important benefits for individuals struggling with injuries, chronic pain, and other musculoskeletal problems. For instance, aerobic exercise enhances blood circulation and fluid drainage, which can help control swelling and feed more healing oxygen to the tissues.
Stretching and strengthening exercises promise some special benefits of their own. Stretches can release pent-up muscle tension and limber up the tissues to ease muscle spasms, making the everyday motion more comfortable, and reduce your injury risk. Strengthening also reduces injury risk by granting extra stability to the key muscle groups that maintain your posture, symmetry, and balance.
Stretching Exercises to Keep Your Tissues Flexible
Dr. Oswald will evaluate your current range of motion and medical status before prescribing stretching exercises. Common stretches that help to manage pain and improve flexibility include:
- Forward, backward, and side neck tilts to loosen neck muscles
- Downward neck release exercises to free up the back of the neck
- Shoulder rolls to relax the tissues connecting your shoulders to your neck
- Cobra stretches, cat-cow stretches, spinal bridges, and seated spinal twists to improve mid-back flexibility
- Stretches that target the pelvic girdle, knees, wrists, tailbone, or lower back
Strengthening Exercises to Support Your Musculoskeletal System
Strengthening exercises typically target the muscle groups responsible for maintaining musculoskeletal alignment. Dr. Oswald may recommend a routine that includes:
- Chin tucks, which strengthen the muscles that support your head
- The prone cobra, an exercise that targets the shoulders, neck, and upper back
- A standing exercise called the back burner that works both the back and the chest
- Curl-ups, side bridges, and other exercises to build the core muscles that support your lower back