A few months ago, I wrote a blog post that gave you a brief look into what my chiropractor had discovered in my arm, but what I didn’t share was that just prior to that I began having ocular migraines, bell’s palsy in my face, and numbness down the right side of my neck and right arm. After seeing medical doctors who wanted to prescribe medicine for my migraines and muscle relaxers without being able to tell me “why” they started and increased in frequency so quickly, I turned to the chiropractor and put my trust in him when he was able to look at my X-ray and show me why this was happening! I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, but that was just the beginning of my journey.
My journey began with twice (sometimes 3 times) weekly chiropractor visits for 3 months and then we added in twice weekly physical therapy visits for 6 weeks. I am now down to once a week chiropractor visits…hoping it’ll soon be once every other week, and my last physical therapy visit is scheduled for tomorrow. While I’m no where near the end of my journey to getting my neck, shoulder and arm healed, I am well on my way and I wanted to share a few important stretches with all of you to help keep you from heading down the same road I was on. 🙂
Posture: The #1 cause of all aches and pains! I can clearly remember my mom’s voice from when I was little, “Don’t slouch, Jennifer.”, “Shoulders back.” “Stand up straight.” I’m sure you heard the same thing from your mom. 😉 Boy oh boy how I wish I were a better listener back then…if I had been, my spine may not look like that of a 65 yr old now! (at least that’s what my chiropractor told me)
So, let’s talk about our posture. Crocheting does not lend itself to perfect posture. Unless you are able to sit with your head up, shoulders back (shoulder blades pinched together) and hold your work 3″ from your nose, your posture is being affected while crocheting. 😉
I get it. It’s not ideal to sit like that^, is it? So how can you combat the aches and pains that having poor posture creates? A great place to start is by doing a few simple stretches. I will share with you a few of my favorites, but if you’re having a lot of discomfort, I urge you to visit your chiropractor or physical therapist to get a plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
Stretch #1: Cervical Spine Corner Stretch^^~ A basic exercise that is important for stretching the chest and shoulder muscles is the corner stretch and it is done…in a corner of a room.
- Stand approximately two feet back from the corner, facing into the corner.
- Feet should be together.
- Forearms are placed on each wall, and elbows are a little below shoulder height.
- Lean in as far as possible without pain. You should feel a stretch in the front of the chest and shoulders.
- Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.
Stretch #2: Suboccipital Stretch^^ ~ The suboccipital muscles connect the base of your skull to the top of your spine. They are in charge of extension, rotation and tilting your head. So if they become tight, you can see how they can be a “pain in your neck”. 😉
- Roll a small towel and place it at the base of skull and upper neck.
- Gently tuck your chin until you feel a stretch at the base of your skull and upper neck.
- Hold 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
Stretch #3: Thoracic Self-Mobilization ~ Another quick and easy stretch to help combat your posture from crocheting.
- Roll a small towel, sit in a chair and place the rolled towel at your upper back (at or just below your shoulder blades).
- Gently lean back until a stretch is felt.
- Hold 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
The stretches above are a few of my favorite stretches, but I’d also like to take a minute to share with you a couple other “tools” I’ve added to my arsenal to combat my pain and posture. First up is The Miracle Ball Method. It is available for purchase through our sponsors:
The The Miracle Ball Method is a great product that was suggested to me by my chiropractor. It’s a quick read that includes several different stretches using the miracle balls that come with it. The first time I used one of the neck exercises, I fell asleep on my ball. lol
My 2nd favorite tool is this Shiatsu Back Massager, which is also available through our sponsors. Oh is this thing heavenly!!!! I can position it all around my shoulders, neck and back. I love how easy to position and use it is. It helps to loosen tight muscles…another culprit in neck and back pain!
Let’s touch base on one more important factor…icing our sore and inflamed muscles! Yes, laying on a heating pad helps you feel better, BUT the fact of the matter is that heat can cause your inflammation to worsen. Ice packs should be your new friend. I love my clay ice packs. They cool down much more quickly than gel and they form to my body easily and comfortably. Please do not use them for more than 20 minutes at a time on the same spot. The one I use can be purchased from our sponsors:
Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you’re able to put these stretches to good use and keep yourself in good health! 🙂