We have been cooped up in houses and cozy chairs waiting for warmth and better weather to arrive for far too long. With the warmer temperatures coming this week, we are all eager to tend to our landscapes and exercise outside getting the refreshing, spring air. Many of the “spring cleaning” activities we engage in (gardening, weeding, cleaning, raking) all require repetitive motions (twisting, turning and bending) that we usually favor our dominant sides with. These patients present to the office with hip pain, outside back pain, pain down the leg, and mid back pain. Much of the cause of these aches and pains is trying to do too much physical activity, too fast on muscles that have not returned to their most effective length. We tend to be “stuck” in those recliner, couch and car seat postures after our cold, less active winters.
The first recommendation I have, which I find to be the best way to get ready for all the “springtime activities” is to practice the hip hinge.
- Behind your chair, spread your feet just wider than shoulder width and make sure feet are both pointed forward.
- Unlock your knees and pull them as far back as possible.
- Then tighten your belly and pull your hips back without bending knees forward.
- All movement should occur in hip joint!
- Repeat ten times, with slow breath cycles
The next best exercise I recommend is to open the shoulder joint to get it out of its “rolled forward” position due to phone and computer use, reading, and any other repetitive seated position.
- In a seated position, sit tall, breathe deep, and imagine a string pulling you up like a puppet on a marionette.
- With a long, strong center bring your hands to hip level and rotate palms open by turning your thumbs away from your body.
- Hold this position for 3-5 breath cycles and repeat 2-3x’s a day.
Note: It is common to hear “clicking” while rotating forearms. However, if the clicking is painful, contact a chiropractor or other health care professional who specializes in musculoskeletal conditions.
As you get ready for spring, I would do these simple exercises 3x/day. If you are going to be venturing out already, perform these tasks before and after your repetitive activities. If you have any questions or concerns please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel any discomfort or pain performing this exercises please call us at 732-920-8188.