Tough stretching routine will help ease stiffness and back pain in lockdownApril 28, 2020
Lockdown is tough, physically and mentally. And you might find that your body feels stiff and achy more than normal – likely a result of dodgy home office setups and being less active.
But stretching could be the answer. It’s important at a time like this to look after your body, and moving in a functional way could help relieve pain and stiffness.
Osteopath Amit Vekaria swears by stretching, and has devised a series of challenging moves that aim to improve posture, flexibility and ease pain. His technique is called Osteoflex and it focuses on deep, static stretches to realign your body.
‘Sitting for long periods, especially currently with not-so-ergonomic chairs and desks at home, can be a major contributor to low back pain and stiffness as your gluteal (buttock) muscles stiffen up – otherwise known as muscle hypertonicity,’ explains Amit.
‘Osteoflex is not about how many miles you can run, or how much weight you lift – It’s how supple your body is able to be, which will help you not only be pain free on a day to day basis, but aid in strength and agility in activities.’
Amit says his stretch routine improves flexibility, mobility and posture, which completely balances and aligns your body, which is also an effective way to reduce stiffness in tight muscles.
‘The stretch may be slightly uncomfortable depending on how stiff you are, but there’s no gain without pain,’ says Amit.
‘According to research, these types of stretches, repeated three times and holding for a duration of at least 30 seconds, will be most beneficial in improving your flexibility and reducing your muscle hypertonicity.
‘There are numerous Osteoflex stretch routines focused on the most common complaints seen in general practice – such as neck and shoulder pain, RSI and low back pain, just to name a few. These can all be found on the Osteoflex YouTube channel.’
Lower back pain/stiffness stretch
low back one
Stretching routine to help with lower back pain
Lie on your back, bend both legs and place one ankle on the opposite thigh.
Try to interlock the fingers around the shin bone, and if that cant be reached then the back of the thigh.
You may already feel the stretch at the buttock/hamstrings, take a deep breathe in and out and slowly use your arm strength to pull the leg towards the chest.
It will be tight/uncomfortable according to how tight you are.
Ideally, stretch each side three times and hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
The aim is to reach the heel to the chest, which proves a fully relaxed gluteal muscle group.
Upper back/shoulder pain stretch
Upper back posture relief stretch routine for the home
Place one elbow inside the opposite elbow crease and try to interlock fingers if possible.
Drop your head down and force down the elbows and away from you.
Take a deep breathe in and hold the stretch for 30 seconds, you will feel the stretch at the shoulders and upper back
Swap elbows for opposite side and do each side three times for maximum results.
You can follow the rest of the moves on the Osteoflex YouTube channel, and chart your progress to see if you’re getting better and more flexible.