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Stretching for Pain Relief

One of the first things a personal trainer will teach you is the importance of stretching. Stretching is believed to be a critical tool for preventing injury, and has the ability to increase flexibility.

But stretching may have additional benefits as well. One such benefit is pain relief. Stretching has many positive advantages to the muscles that can assist in long term pain relief.

Stretching For Back and Neck Pain

If you struggle with back and neck pain, daily stretching can help. Stretching is a long term pain relief strategy, capable of providing less back and neck pain the longer you stretch regularly. Some of the benefits of stretching on pain relief include:

  • Improving Range of Motion – Often when some part of you feels injured, your body tends to overcompensate by leaning on other muscles, which in turn start to become overworked and harden. This eventually leads to further pain. Stretching helps make sure that the muscles stay loose, and make it easier for all of your muscles to stay mobile and active.
  • Greater Blood Flow – Blood flow is important for reducing pain and improving the healing process. It also moves oxygen throughout the body. Stretching improves blood flow throughout the body, which allows blood and oxygen to reach your muscles and speed up the healing process.
  • Endorphins – When you stretch, your body releases neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) known as “endorphins.” These brain chemicals play two roles in your body – they make you feel happy, and they reduce pain. Both of those are beneficial for those that are struggling with back and neck pain.

Stretching also simply makes it easier for you to move freely, and movement is known to reduce pain. That is why, if you suffer from back and neck pain, you do not just stretch your neck and back. You also stretch other areas of the body, like your calves and abdomen. This is because when your legs and core are loose, you’re able to have better posture and walk more often, both of which are important for improving blood flow and reducing pain.

Stretching alone is not a short term cure. Those that engage in stretching need to be prepared to commit to it, and combine it with other back and neck pain reduction strategies. But stretching is surprisingly beneficial, and because it can be completed in only a few minutes every day, it is something you should strongly consider if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain.

If you have been suffering from long term back or neck pain, contact SpineCenterAtlanta to learn about the wide range of treatment options we have to help you find relief.

How to Avoid Holiday Back Pain

 

Holiday Back Pain

It’s the holiday season, known for its bright lights, presents, family time, and celebration. But here at SpineCenterAtlanta, it’s also known for its surprisingly high spike in back pain. Holiday back pain is a common challenge that affects thousands of Atlantans every year. For those that already struggle with back pain, make sure you take precautions so that your holiday isn’t ruined by holiday back discomfort.

Why is the Holidays Prone to Back Pain?

There are many different reasons that the holidays are prone to back pain. Some of them are even for “fun” reasons, but back pain doesn’t necessarily care that you’re having a good time. The most common causes of holiday back pain include: Back Pain from Traveling

  • Traveling – Sitting on a plane or in a car can put a lot of pressure on the back.
  • Lifting – Lifting heavy presents or moving furniture for guests can create back pain.
  • Hanging Decorations – Decorating a home often means contorting the lower back.
  • Stress – Holidays can be stressful, from planning to family to finances.
  • Lounging – For those that are able to relax, lounging too often can also cause aches.

These are only some of the many different changes that take place over the holidays, all of which can contribute to unexpected or more severe back pain.

Tips to Avoid Back Pain This Holiday Season

  • Know Your Limits – If you haven’t been able to lift heavy items or stretch to the ceiling in several years, it may not be time to start now. Be gentle and careful when you lift gifts, hang up items, or perform other activities and avoid doing anything your body is not ready for.
  • Rest Often – When some degree of work is unavoidable (such as cleaning the house for guests), make sure you do not do it all at once. Let yourself rest every once in a while and recover. If you still have your strength and energy, you will be less likely to overwork your muscles.
  • Eat Well and Drink Water – Vitamins and hydration are always important for combatting back pain, and yet during the holidays it’s not uncommon to eat only fattening family foods while drinking only a few eggnogs and champagne.
  • Relax (with Walking) – The holidays can be stressful. Make sure you take some time for yourself to relax and relieve some of that stress and tension. If you are okay braving the colder air, try taking some relaxing walks so that you’re not also lounging too frequently.
  • Prioritize You – Much of the holiday time is spent catering to other people. From buying expensive gifts that cause you financial stress to trying to make the house look good for guests. But you’ll struggle to enjoy the fruits of that labor if you’re not prioritizing yourself. If you need to spend less, move less, stretch, or even take time away from everyone to relax, it is worth it to prevent your back discomfort.

Avoid Holiday Back Pain

The holiday season is meant to be something for you and your family to enjoy. But few can enjoy it when struggling with back pain. This year, try to avoid engaging in back pain causing activities, and have a great holiday from us here at Spine Center Atlanta.