Perhaps it comes with age– or maybe it’s because we slouch at our work desks too much– but pains and aches in our body is becoming common. Even those who eat right, exercise, and make it a point to stay healthy will experience body aches and pains from time to time.
The quarantine restrictions and stay-at-home orders have led to a more sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, you can get a whole lot of relief if you move and stretch throughout the day. Here are three quick fixes to relieve those painful body aches. (Read: Chantal Umali on her journey to a healthier lifestyle)
Quick Pain Relief: Take deep breaths to lessen shoulder stiffness
If you’ve had a stressful day, there’s a good chance that it’s causing tightness and stiffness in your upper back, neck, and shoulders. The key for relief is changing your breathing pattern. Stress breathing is shallower, meaning instead of using your diaphragm to breathe, you end up using the muscles in the upper rib cage and the neck. This causes rapid breathing. Take slow, deep, longer “belly” breaths and feel your stomach move out as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out.
Quick pain relief: Give your hands a break
If you are typing for long periods of time, it may cause pain to your hands and wrists. Typing for long periods without taking a break can cause the muscles to get very tense and fatigued. This may cause cramping and stiffness. According to Joel Press, MD, the physiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, you should give your hands a break every 30 minutes. (Read: 3 Uplifting Prayers for the Sick and Healing)
Try this easy stretch from Keck Medicine at the University of Southern California: Make a fist with each hand, hold, and open your hand to spread fingers wide. Repeat three times.
Quick pain relief: Strech and roll out your feet
If you spend most of the day wearing shoes, here are two exercises you can do relieve them of aches. First is toe yoga. In a standing position, try to lift your big toe off the ground by itself (the other four toes should stay firmly on the ground). Next, try lifting the four little toes off the floor while the big one stays put.
Another exercise is to take your shoes off and roll a tennis ball on the underside of your feet. This will provide sensory signals to wake up the connection between your foot and brain, reducing foot sensitivity.