Stretching is often times one of the best ways to loosen up tight muscles. Complaints of tight muscles often occur in the upper back and shoulders as well as in the hip and pelvic musculature. The following stretches are the ones I most commonly prescribe to patients, due to the fact that these are the most common muscles that are overused and tight on most individuals.
Stretches are a great adjunct to chiropractic adjustments. Often times musculature becomes tightened to the point of causing tension on the vertebrae, which can cause the vertebrae to subluxate (misalign). Keeping muscles loose and relaxed will help you hold your adjustments better and make you feel better. Download theses stretches in pdf form here.
|Upper Trapezius Stretch: Begin by placing right hand behind your back. Your left hand will be placed above your ear and will pull your neck toward your left shoulder. This stretch should be held for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side of the body.|
|Levator Scapulae Stretch: Begin by placing your left hand on your shoulder blade. Your right hand will be placed on top of your head just slightly above and behind your ear. The right hand will pull your neck towards your right chest wall. This stretch should be held for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side of the body.|
|Piriformis Stretch: Begin by sitting on a solid surface (a carpeted floor or mat works just fine) Extend your right leg in front of you and bend your left leg over the top of your right thigh. Use your right arm to place pressure on your left leg, pulling the left leg toward your right hip joint. The stretch should be felt in the upper gluteal and hip area. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.|
|Hip Flexor Stretch: Begin by placing your body in a deep lunge. Your right leg will be in front of your left leg. Extend left leg behind you keeping the hip joint as straight as possible while lunging deeper on the right side. The stretch will be felt in the front of your left hip joint. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.|