You know that feeling. You get out of bed in the morning and it takes a moment or two for your body to adjust to vertical life.
When you’ve been horizontal for 8 hours, that’s bound to happen.
Morning stiffness is a problem for many of us. While it usually resolves after we’ve been upright for a bit, stretching helps. That’s why I’ve put together this post – morning stretches: a chiropractor’s guide.
Read on to find out how you can more comfortably return to a vertical reality, every morning.
Neck (cervical vertebrae)
The neck is public enemy number one when it comes to morning stiffness. With your shoulders relaxed, place your left hand on top of your head. Now, gently pull your head toward your left shoulder and hold for a count of 10. Repeat on the right.
Now, pull your head gently forward and hold for a count of 10. Look over your right shoulder, holding for 10, then your left.
Back (thoracic and lumbar vertebrae)
Kitty cat stretches are a great way to re-active your back and ease morning stiffness. On your hands and knees, arch your back up and hold for 10, while tightening your abdominal muscles. Now, do the reverse, pulling your head up, while making your back convex, concentrating on the mid-back region.
To stretch your lower back, lie on your back, with your knees pulled in toward your chest. Placing your hands behind your knees, pull in toward your chest, while holding your abdominals tight. Hold for 10.
Finally, lying on your back bend one knee, keeping the other leg straight. Now roll onto your side, allowing the bent leg to follow your movement. Relax into this stretch, as the weight of your leg intensifies it. Hold for 10. Repeat on the other side.
These last two stretches are the most important of all, as they’re for the lower back (the site of a lot of pain for my patients). Stretching this region every morning helps prepare your body for the day ahead, protecting it by loosening and relaxing tight muscles.
Morning stretches: a chiropractor’s guide is intended to get you on your way to a better start in the morning, with fewer aches and pains and a body which has been primed to move you through the day comfortably.
You can build on this routine with any number of stretches, or complementary exercises. Wall presses and planking are two body weight exercises which demand little time and give your circulatory system a morning boost, allowing it to feed your muscles with the blood they need to be at their best.
Back & Body Medical
At Back & Body, my work as a chiropractor is supported by professional partners in 3 other disciplines – sports medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture. Our award-winning inter-disciplinarian care is now available here in New Jersey.
I invite you to contact us to find out more about our groundbreaking team approach to pain relief. Come in for a consultation and meet the team at Back & Body.