Movement is key to staying pain free, as when joints stiffen, they become painful. At this point, it hurts to use them, so our natural reaction is to stop using them. This only makes them stiffer. As such it is really important to keep moving, and particularly as we age, everyone should have a short routine to perform every day, just to get them moving in the morning, and shake off the stiffness from lying still all night. The following exercises take five minutes to complete, and can help to keep pain at bay and keep you moving well.
Firstly, sit on the edge of the bed, in a chair or on the arm of a sofa. Ideally you want your thighs either level to the floor, or pointing slightly downwards. Lift your knee as far towards your chest as it will go, then tuck your chin in, so that your forehead touches your knee (if it doesn’t go all the way, don’t panic, just take it as far as is comfortable, with a bit of a stretch). Then relax and repeat on the other side. Perform this ten times with each leg, alternating side to side.
Then stand up, place your feet a little apart, bend down to the right, making sure not to move forward or backwards, or to twist. As you bend, allow your hips to swing slightly out to the left, and your head to come all the way over to the right, your body should make a nice smooth curve at the end of the movement. You should imagine you are standing between two panes of glass whilst doing this movement, as you want it to be purely a side to side movement.
Performing these exercises in the morning and the evening, can be a very effective way to keep you moving, keep you pain free and to help you stay active as a result.
NB: This is for information only, and does not constitute medical advice, if you are in any doubt, please call 01225 862140 to speak to a chiropractor. These exercises may not be appropriate for everyone.