12 Stretching Exercises for Muscle Pain Relief and Optimum Flexibility!


Given our modern pace of life and sedentary lifestyle, muscle pain (e.g., lower back pain and neck tension) has become far too common. Whether it’s shoulder tension from being hunched at a desk for hours or wrist pain from typing on a computer, sore muscles can make any movement difficult and painful.

As a result, many people rely on painkillers and creams to help dull the pain. However, this approach is simply a Band-Aid solution. One way of attaining muscle pain relief is preventing it from occurring in the first place. In fact, a simple place to start is with a basic stretching exercise routine that anyone can intersperse into their daily routine.

Class Is in Session: How to Stretch 101

Besides being a simple way to get your blood flowing and helping to energize your body [1], stretching can help you move more easily. Regular stretching can get the stiffness out of muscles, ease creaky joints, and help keep pain at bay. It can also help prevent injury while exercising or something as simple as walking to your car or getting groceries. Stiff muscles and joints simple don’t work as well as muscles that have been stretched and are ready to be used.

Here are some quick Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to stretching exercises [2]:

Please Do

  • Stretch after a workout; stretching after a workout allows for the muscles to grow
  • Hold stretches for 20 to 30 seconds. You’ll forces the muscles to relax.
  • Stretch chronically tight areas often, these areas need more attention
  • Use extra support if required, such as a stretch band or topical magnesium oil to alleviate stiffness

Please Don’t

  • Stretch in a rapid motion. Pushing yourself into position quickly and then “bouncing” back is dangerous.
  • Stretch injured muscles. Even if it feels good, you may make the damage worse.

So what stretches should you be doing? Well, there are many options like yoga or physical therapy, but if you’re looking for an everyday stretch routine that will work you from head to toe, here it is.

The 12 Best Stretches for Muscle Pain Relief

This total body stretching exercise was chosen by Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy from New York University. Before starting, it’s important to remember that if you feel any discomfort or pain while performing a stretch to stop and see a doctor or physical therapist [3].

You will be holding each of these stretches for 30 to 60 seconds. The first step is to make sure you get seated with proper posture. Sit, with your chin tucked down and back so that your neck is aligned with your spine. Now you’re ready to start.

1) Neck Rotation

Slowly turn your head to the right and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Face forward and then repeat with the left.

neck rotation stretching exercise for muscle pain relief

2) Neck Tilt

Tilt your head to the right and drape your right arm over your head, near your left ear. Don’t pull, but let the weight of your arm help stretch your neck. Hold, then repeat with the other side.

neck stretching exercise for muscle pain relief

3) Trunk Rotation

Cross your arms over your chest, and look over your shoulder, rotating at your trunk. Hold, then face the front and repeat with the other side.

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