As we get old, our spines and bodies suffer the effects of sitting and the weight of earth’s gravity with additional insults from smartphones. As a result, I have a secret stretch I do every day to help me fight these forces and to help avoid the worst of the “old man” (or “old woman”) posture. This stretch keeps my neck stenosis and shoulder pain at bay. I’d like to teach it to you this morning and hopefully, you’ll do this every day as well.
As we age, our spine begins to mold itself around our sitting and smartphone-peering lifestyle. The psoas muscles that go from the spine to the front of the hip get tight. Our head and neck move forward. Our shoulders round. Our chest muscles get shorter and tighter.
After decades of helping patients get out of pain, one thing I suggest that my patients could correct to avoid problems is not allowing sitting and gravity to change their bodies. Why? There are a number of really negative things that happen:
About 75% of all the problems I see in the clinic every day are directly related to or made worse by people not paying attention to how sitting and gravity is trashing their bodies.
Notice my animated GIF of my stretch above. Here’s what to do:
Do not do this stretch if you injure yourself easily! Otherwise, take this very slow and ease into it until you become familiar with how it affects you.
Here’s where you should be feeling all the stretches:
Make sure you get both sides (right and left chest/front of hip/hamstring/calf)! Do this stretch every day, a few times a day for five minutes. I also do this before I work out or exercise.
The upshot? A simple stretch can help you avoid loads of misery as you age, or if you’re already in pain, it can help take pressure off the areas that are getting trashed by sitting and gravity. Try this and you’ll be surprised how well it works!
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About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…