What Stretches and Exercises Can You Do to Complement Chiropractic Care?
Have you recently visited your chiropractor? Perhaps you went in for back pain, neck pain or your routine adjustments. You’re not alone as it’s estimated that chiropractors treat over 35 million Americans every year. Complementing chiropractic treatment with exercises and stretches at home can be highly beneficial in improving your overall musculoskeletal health, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment, and preventing future issues.
Here are some exercises and stretches you can incorporate into your routine:
Cat-Cow Stretch: Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Arch your back up toward the ceiling, tucking your chin to your chest. Then, slowly drop your belly towards the floor, lifting your head and looking up. Repeat this movement for several rounds, focusing on spinal mobility.
Glute Bridges/Hip Raise: Lie on your back with your knees bent—making sure that your knees are above your ankles with your hands lying flat on the sides. Next, lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for a few seconds, then lower your hips back down. This exercise helps strengthen your glute muscles and stabilize your pelvis.
Wall Angels: Stand with your back against a wall and feet slightly away from the wall. Place your arms against the wall with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and palms facing forward. Slowly slide your arms up the wall, maintaining contact with your elbows, back, and head. Return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise helps to improves posture and shoulder mobility.
Child’s Pose: Start on your hands and knees, then sit your hips back onto your heels while reaching your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the floor and relax your entire body. This stretch helps release tension in the lower back, hips, and shoulders.
Neck Stretches: Gently tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat on the left side. Next, rotate your head to the right, looking over your shoulder. Hold briefly and repeat on the other side. These stretches help relieve neck tension and improve range of motion.
Thoracic Rotation: Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the sides. Slowly rotate your upper body to the right, keeping your hips facing forward. Return to the center and repeat on the left side. This exercise promotes mobility in the thoracic spine.
Remember to consult your chiropractor before starting any new exercises, especially if you have specific conditions or injuries. They can provide personalized recommendations and ensure the exercises align with your treatment plan. Start with gentle movements, gradually increasing intensity and duration as your body adapts. Consistency is key to reaping the benefits of these exercises and stretches, so aim to incorporate them into your daily routine.