By Katherine Williamson, Physiotherapist & Clinical Pilates Instructor.
What’s the most common thing we see as Physios you ask?
Hands down lower back and neck pain. So here are a few of my go to stretches to address stiff spines.
Given all the bending and sitting we do in our day to day life it’s a really good idea to counteract this with the opposing movement – extension.
This can be done progressively by propping on to your elbows for a few seconds and then returning to lying flat. If that feels comfortable then push right up until your elbows are straight then return to lying flat.
10 reps a few times a day is an easy way to keep some mobility in your lower back.
Lying on your side with a pillow under your head, knees bent up to flatten the curve in your lower back and arms out in front one on top of the other.
Lift your top arm up and over to the other side of the floor at the same time rotating your thoracic spine. Be sure that your top knee does not come off the other leg. With this we are trying to disassociate your upper body from your lower body.
Hold for a few seconds take a few breaths in and out and then return to the start.
Do both sides 10x.
We spend a lot of time in front of screens, laptops, iPhones, iPads, you name it we do it. If you are not made aware of it often you will end up with your chin poking forward and slumping into the screen in front of you.
So….. sitting upright, maintain the natural curve in your spine, drop your shoulders and roll them back gently (nothing should be forced into a rigid position). Think about lengthening your neck, from the bottom of your skull to the base of your neck.
Gently nod your chin, a small movement, and bring your chin in, as if you were making a double chin (no one said this exercise was pretty). Feel the length of your neck – hold for a few seconds and then come back to your original position.
If you are working at a desk all day this exercise is a great one to do every hour.
It is important to note that if you have any concerns, consult your Health Professional so your specific needs can be addressed.