There are many reasons that we could hurt ourselves or strain muscles and it’s always a very painful and uncomfortable time. If you have every had to have knee surgery or hip surgery you will know that those seemingly simple procedures can have you out of commission for a long time and possibly dealing with pain for the rest of your life. However, general orthopedics does not just involve orthopedic surgery. There are other methods of pain relief that are still considered general orthopedics. Hand and wrist conditions are very common and not all are treated with surgery. Many times, the patient is prescribed stretches or in sever cases, physical therapy to help heal their injury. The body is an amazing thing and how we treat it could make the difference in how we feel and in how we heal.
For example, let’s talk about back surgery. How many people do you know that have endured back surgery many years ago and still have back pain? Sure, the surgery may have helped the major problems, like the ability to walk properly or it may have alleviated the main focus of pain, but there are so many people living with back pain whether they have had surgery or not. We put a lot of strain on our backs in our day to day lives. Lifting, carrying, sitting, standing and even sleeping all affect our back. But, we aren’t all going to have surgery or live on pain medication for the rest of our lives. For those of us that want to continue a normal and healthy lifestyle in spite of back pain, take a look at these stretches and try them out. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Knee to chest
This stretch helps to align the pelvis while stretching out the back and glut muscles.
- Lay flat on your back with your legs on the floor but toes pointing upward.
- Keeping your toes pointing toward the ceiling, gently bend one knee until you can clasp your hands around the back of the knee.
- Pull that knee in to your chest as close as you can, moving your hands lower, to the back of your thigh.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds and release.
- Repeat with the other leg and then repeat with each leg three times.
This stretch will help the paraspinal muscles as well as abdominal muscles.
- Begin by again, laying flat on your back with your legs extended.
- Pick up one knee and keeping it loosely bent, cross it over your straight leg and hold. You should feel the stretch in your back, buttocks and thigh.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds before releasing and repeating with the other leg.
- Repeat stretch on each leg, three times.
Cat Cow This stretch is typically a yoga position that feels very good along your spine.
- Kneel on your hands and knees so your knees and shoulders are at 90 degree angles.
- As you exhale, slowly arch your spine downward, pushing your belly button into the floor, so to speak.
- Inhale and slowly round your back upwards, tightening your abdominal muscles as you go.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds each and repeat.
If this stretch is done often enough, eventually the piriformis muscles will lengthen.
- Sit against a wall to ensure straight posture.
- Cross one leg over the other so the knee is bent and the foot as flat as possible on the floor next to your other thigh.
- Take the other foot and tuck it as close to your buttocks as you can.
- Pull the lifted knee in towards your shoulder, rotating your back gently as you stretch.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds and alternate sides three times.
General orthopedics can be very beneficial to anyone in a lot of pain if looked at properly and not through the eyes of surgery, as mentioned above. Do these stretches every day for a couple of weeks and you are sure to see a difference that will have you singing general orthopedics praises.