Stretch Away Shoulder and Neck Tension

Stretch Away Shoulder and Neck Tension

Who is feeling stressed right now? [Everyone raises their hands.] It has been a challenging time for many, to say the least. One of the stretches I recommend may help release some of the tension, and that’s the upper trapezius stretch.  

WHAT does it do? The upper trapezius is a postural muscle which shrugs the shoulder, steady the shoulders, and tilts and assists in turning the head.   

WHY should I stretch it? The upper trapezius is what I’ve nicknamed the “Minnesota Muscle” in the winter because many people are shrugging their shoulders to keep their neck warm, or from increased tension of driving or cold weather. The shoulder shrug movement is often a stress response in many people. The muscle can become very tense causing increased tightness or pain in the upper back and neck. If the muscle becomes too tight, it can also decrease the neck range of motion when tipping the head to the side. This muscles often has increased tightness or soreness when a shoulder injury occurs as well.  

HOW do I stretch it? Here is how I teach this stretch:  

Place one hand on top of head, and gently pull ear to the shoulder. No pain or tingling into the arms/hands should occur while performing the stretch. Hold for 10-15 seconds.  

Repeat 3 times each side, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Since this muscle is often involved as a stress response, another way to help decrease tension in this area is to do “shoulder checks” throughout the day. Basically, take a deep breath in and breath out. When you breath out try to drop the shoulders down, causing them to relax.   

You can also use a theracane to perform trigger point therapy on this muscle. A theracane is a handheld self messager cane, which is used to apply pressure to and sooth sore muscles.   

​Try implementing this stretch into your daily routine. Is it helping your neck tension? I’d love to hear your feedback! Comment below or send me an email.

Improving Musculoskeletal Health and Inflammation

Improving Musculoskeletal Health and Inflammation

Today we are going to focus on supplements and will discuss our anti-inflammatory supplement Traumeric.  

Why consider taking Traumeric?  

Inflammation in the body happens when you have an infection or injury. White blood cells are triggered to start repairing damaged tissue. Sometimes inflammation, when it is low-grade and chronic, spreads throughout the body.  

Traumeric is formulated to support healthy inflammatory balance and musculoskeletal health.  

Traumeric includes the ingredients turmeric root extract (the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin), bromelain (a pineapple enzyme), quercetin (a flavonoid found in a variety of botanicals, vegetables, and fruits), rutin (also a flavonoid), and vitamin C.  

This combination of ingredients helps:  

  • Support a healthy inflammatory response  
  • Improves musculoskeletal health  
  • Boosts joint health, movement and physical function  
  • Enhances workout recover time  

Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve can be hard on your system when taken for prolonged periods. Some potential side effects include stomach issues, headaches, and liver or kidney issues. If you want to try a more natural approach to anti-inflammatory, that is better for your gut and system, and can be taken daily, this may be a good option for you.  

What else have you have tried to reduce inflammation? Get in touch with us today. You can also follow us on Facebook for more tips and information.

Improved Posture with the Doorway Stretch

Improved Posture with the Doorway Stretch

It’s time to go over more stretching! But first, have you been practicing the stretches we discussed in previous weeks Hopefully the answer is yes because this week we are going over the doorway stretch.  

WHAT does it do? The doorway stretch is a great stretch for the chest, and front of the shoulder.  

WHY should I stretch it? Poor posture causes the body to slouch forward often times increasing tightness in the chest, which then increases stress to the middle back, or can even lead to shoulder problems. It is often an easy stretch to incorporate into the day since doorways are all over and it is easy to do. There are many benefits to incorporating this stretch to your daily routine.  

  • Shoulder, neck, and back pain relief.  
  • Improved shoulder and chest motion.  
  • Improved breathing and blood flow.  
  • Decreased stress and tension.  
  • Improved posture and anti-aging.  

​HOW do I stretch it? Here is how I teach this stretch:  

Place hands on the sides of the doorway about head level, or whatever height is comfortable.  Hold for 10-15 seconds.  Repeat 3 times, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Do you have any questions about improved posture or feedback? I would love to connect. Reach out to me for assistance and don’t forget to like us on Facebook for more tips and information.

Stretch it Out: Piriformis

Stretch it Out: Piriformis

Tight hip muscles can cause a range of problems. Let’s talk this week about the piriformis stretch and the benefits.  

WHAT does it do?   The piriformis is one of the deep muscles in the hip that helps to rotate the thigh away from the body and helps stabilize the hip.  The piriformis attaches to the outside of hip and to the sacrum. ​ 

WHY should I stretch it?   A tight piriformis can cause the feet to turn outward which can alter walking and running movements. It can also cause the hips to feel tight. The sciatic nerve also runs just under the piriformis. If the piriformis becomes too tight it can compress the sciatic nerve causing one version of sciatica (called piriformis syndrome).  The muscle can become too tight due to repetitive exercises like running, prolonged sitting, or due to weakness in the gluteus musculature causing it to become overly stressed.  If too tight, it can put more stress and strain on the low back and hips.  This injury is often fairly preventable as it most often occurs from repetitive motions that cause increased tightness over time.  What can you do about it?  

Taking breaks every 45 minutes from seated desk work can help the muscle from getting too tight.  

Cooling down from exercise and stretching also relieves tension in the region.   

​Strengthening the hip area can also bring more stability to the area and not stress the muscles as much.   

Piriformis: HOW do I stretch it?

This stretch can be done sitting or lying down.  I prefer sitting down since it is more practical to get done during the workday.  Here is how I teach this stretch from a seated position:  

Cross ankle onto knee, keep low back straight, and lean forward until a comfortable pain free stretch occurs.  

Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3 times per side.   

If one leg does not go as far, stretch that side more often until balance is created between the two sides.    

If the stretch causes any pain, tingling, or numbness into the lower leg decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull.   If pain persists, stop the stretch.   

​You can also foam roll or use a ball in the area the as well.  If you get any numbness or tingling into the leg, stop as you are compressing a nerve. Roll back and forth slowly 3-5 times or more until you feel some relief of tension.   

ENJOY and don’t forget to smile!  😃  

Stretch it Out: Wrist Flexors and Extensors 

Stretch it Out: Wrist Flexors and Extensors 

Wrist Flexors and Extensors. Yes, we’re talking about wrist pain can make daily activities frustrating and challenging. Exercising and stretching your wrist can help increase mobility and decrease your changes of injury.  

WHAT does it do? These two stretches are great for tight forearms and/or wrists.  

WHY should I stretch it? Forearms can get too tight from gripping, typing and using the mouse or any other repetitive activities that we use our hands for throughout the day. If forearms get too tight it can lead to elbow pain, wrist pain, and decreased motion. Stretching may also prevent arm problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome.  

HOW do I stretch it? Here is how I teach these stretches:  

Wrist Flexor Muscles  

Straighten elbow and point fingers down (can also do this with fingers pointing upward), and gently use other hand to apply enough pressure for a comfortable stretch.   

Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds.  

Repeat each stretch 3 times, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Wrist Extensor Muscles  

Straighten elbow point palm downward, make a fist, and use other hand to apply enough pressure for a comfortable stretch.   

Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds.  

Repeat each stretch 3 times, 1-3x per day.   

If the stretch causes any pain or tingling, decrease stretching tension until it is only a pull. If pain persists, stop the stretch.  

Hopefully you found the information helpful. And if you find yourself with wrist pain I encourage you to call me or schedule an appointment at the clinic!

Finding The Right Chiropractor

Finding The Right Chiropractor

The time comes and you are considering going to a chiropractor. You are having soreness or are doing great and looking for someone to keep you feeling that way. You type in the search “chiropractor” and a bunch of different options pop up. How do you decide who to see? 

The chiropractic field can vary quite a bit on the type of care you will receive, treatment time, frequency of treatment, philosophy behind the care they provide, or how long of a time period you will need to be seen for care. That can be confusing if you have not been to a chiropractor before. 

The easiest way to explain why there is so much variation is to think of just searching the term medical doctor and seeing what shows up. If you are not specific on a specialty you will also get a long list and it won’t be very helpful. Chiropractors tend to have different specialties and that is why the type of care will vary from clinic to clinic.  

So, the question remains, how do you decide who to see? Some questions to ask yourself are what are: 

  • What is your main reason for wanting to set up that appointment? 
  • Do you want to do wellness care? 
  • Are you looking for injury help? 
  • Are you pregnant and needing help to feel better during pregnancy? 
  • Do you have a family with kids and want a family practice setting? 
  • Are you more athletic and looking for someone that understands that?

Once you have an idea of what type of care you are looking for the next question is: 

  • Are there any specific types of therapy you are wanting? 
  • Do you only want to be adjusted? 
  • Are you looking for stretching, deep tissue, strength training, acupuncture, massage therapy, or nutritional help?  

The chiropractic field tends to have two main options. 

  1. Adjustments only. The adjustment is typically the main tool for care and the appointments tend to be short in duration and more frequent.  
  2. Adjustments and other types of therapy along with the adjustment. These appointments take a little longer, but you may be seen less often over the course of time.  

Once you narrow down what type of chiropractor you think will fit your needs best, I recommend looking at the Google Reviews for that clinic to see what patient experiences have been. I also recommend calling the clinic or reviewing their website to look into what type care/therapies they provide.

The best option is to ask friends, family, co-workers, or people you trust who they recommend and how their experience was. They will be able to explain what type of care they received, and you will be able to make a better decision if that clinic is right for you. 
The main goal in choosing a chiropractor, or any other health care provider, is to find someone that matches your needs well. Chiropractor care usually involves more than one appointment and you want to see someone that makes sense for you. Some people are very busy and like the convenience of quick appointments, and others want someone to spend more time with them.  

I hope this helps make your decision easier if you are considering looking for a chiropractor.