There are some exercises and stretches that can help alleviate and prevent pain, including those that strengthen the core of the body and lengthen the limbs, back and neck. Whether you can only spare a few minutes or you’ve got enough time for a 15-minute workout, for relief check out our quick routines that target neck, back and knee pain.
Standing or sitting, place your hands behind your head in a basket grip.
Gently drop your chin toward your chest and hug the elbows around your face.
Use the tension of your hands and arms to weigh your cervical spine down while maintaining a straight thoracic spine. Feel a stretch from the base of your skull down through your cervical vertebrae.
Breathing in and out through the nose, hold this for five deep breaths, and then release slowly.
Side neck pull
With your head upright, reach your right hand around your head and place it on the left side of your head. Gently pull your head so that your right ear reaches down toward your right shoulder. Feel a stretch in the left side of your neck.
To intensify this stretch, bring your left hand around your back and open up the left shoulder by pressing your left hand onto your back.
Breathing in and out through the nose, hold this for three deep breaths, and then switch sides.
Standing leg lifts
This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, the large muscle at the front of the thigh, and stabilizes the knee joint by keeping the patella, or kneecap, in place through the movement.
Standing with your feet as wide as your hips, place your hands on your hips for balance. Then point the right foot in front of you, keeping your legs straight, and squeeze the quad.
You should feel your kneecap being pulled up and stabilized.
Then lift the right foot off of the ground about 1 foot, and lower it down. Repeat this 10 times and then switch legs.
Standing hamstring curl
This hammer curl works the back of the legs, which helps to stabilize the back of the knee joint and also improve mobility in the front of the leg. It works the hamstring, which is the opposing muscle of the quad, engaged in the standing leg lift. Together, these two exercises improve muscular balance in the lower body and therefore improve knee strength and stability.
Start in the same position as above. Bend the right knee by using the back of the right leg to curl the foot up toward the glute.
Place it down. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
This exercise works the transverse abdominis, the deepest ab muscle that helps support the low back, and also works with multifidus muscles, the ones that run along the spine. By strengthening the front of the body and properly engaging the back of the body, the body overall learns how to properly move with less pain.
Sitting up tall on a Pilates or yoga mat, reach your arms out in front of you as high as your shoulders. Open the feet as wide as the hips. Pull the naval in toward the spine…