5 Quick Stretches to Beat Sore Muscles

5 Quick Stretches to Beat Sore Muscles
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.

Are you experiencing muscle pain? Maybe you strained a muscle while exercising, have been dealing with leg cramps or even have calf muscle pain. When muscle cramps in the legs or upper body occur, you may be looking for a quick way to provide relief. In this blog post, we will be sharing “5 Stretches for Muscle Pain” that will help get you back on your feet and feeling your best self.

Understanding Sore Muscles
Soreness in your muscles typically occurs from exercise-induced activities, the overuse of your muscles without proper rest, or maybe you injured yourself and now have a sprain or strain in the muscle. 

Muscle soreness occurs typically 24 to 72 hours after exercise and is believed to be caused by microscopic damage to the muscle fibers during physical activity. This then leads to inflammation and the release of chemicals that stimulate the nerve and cause pain.

When this happens, it’s imperative to stretch your muscles to find relief. It will not only improve flexibility but reduce muscle tension.

5 Quick and Easy Stretches

  1. Neck and Shoulder Stretch – Side Tilt 
    If you’re experiencing pain in your neck and shoulder, sit or stand comfortably with a straight spine. Slowly tilt your head to one side by bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Hold this position and feel the gentle stretching running down your neck into your shoulder. Repeat on other side.

  2. Arm and Wrist Stretch – Wrist Rotation
    Stretch your arm out in front of you and point your fingers down until you feel a stretch. Use your free hand to gently pull the raised hand toward the body. Now, point your fingers toward the ceiling and pull the hand once again toward the body. Hold both of these position for up to 5 seconds and repeat on both sides.

  3. Back and Spine Stretch – Bridge Back Stretch
    To get a good stretch in your back, first lie on your stomach. Once on the floor, prop yourself up on your elbows and extend your back. Continue to straighten your elbows to further extend your back muscles. Hold for at least 10 seconds while you feel a gentle stretch.

  4. Hamstring Stretch To stretch the back of your upper leg (or hamstring), first find a surface the level of your hips such as a bed. Take your leg and place it on the edge of the bed while the other leg is planted on the floor. Bend forward at the hip while keeping your spine straight. Hold this stretch on both sides for at least 30 seconds.

  5. Calf Muscle Stretch Find a wall and stand back about 2 feet from it. Place the ball of your foot against the wall while keeping your heel on the floor. Gently lean into the while keeping your knee straight and hold this position for 30 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch in your calf muscle.

Tips for Effective Stretching
Remember, the point of stretching is to help alleviate pain in your muscles by improving blood circulation to the damage in muscle fibers. Not to mention the added benefits of relaxing and loosening tight and stiff muscles. Keep in mind when stretching that you are using proper form and technique and listen to your body.

If it hurts to stretch, don’t push it. You should feel a gentle pull – nothing more. And of course, by being consistent with adding stretching into your daily routine, you will find yourself on the mend and feeling better than ever.

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