joints

How do you know exactly what muscles you are stretching?

“Stretching is an essential component of both exercise and health, as it helps to maintain flexibility and range of motion in your joints. It is easy to forget to stretch before a workout, perhaps because we do not know exactly why it is that stretching is so important. Well, stretching improves muscle development, increases range of motion, reduces your chances of an injury and provides a warm-up for your muscles. When your muscles are more flexible, the body can perform activities and exercise with the correct form; therefore, stretching also helps to improve posture.”

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5. Forearm Extensor Stretch: To stretch your forearm extensor, start by pushing your shoulder down and back, then externally rotate your shoulder. Once in position, apply pressure to your opposite hand and begin to stretch.

6. Forearm Extensor Stretch: Stretch the forearm extensor by pushing your shoulder down and back, and externally rotating the shoulder. Apply pressure with your opposite hand to begin the stretch

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7. Lateral Side Flexion of the Neck: This stretch highlights your sternocleidomastoid or SCM. Keep your neck as long as possible while slowly dropping your ear to your shoulder. You can progress this stretch by being seated on a chair and grabbing the bottom of the seat.

8. Neck Rotation Stretch: To stretch the SCM, slowly rotate your neck while keeping your chin elevated. For a deeper stretch, apply pressure with the hand opposite from the direction you are rotating.

 

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9. Neck Extension Stretch: To work the SCM, place your hands on your hips while keeping your spine long and tilt your head back.

10. Lateral Side Flexion of the Neck with Hand Assistance: Stretch the SCM and upper trapezius by keeping your neck long and slowly dropping your ear to your shoulder.

 

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11. Lateral Shoulder Stretch: To stretch your side deltoid, bring your arm across your body and lightly apply pressure to increase the stretch on your shoulder.

12. Standing Assisted Neck Flexion Stretch: This stretch will work your Trapezius muscle. Start by standing with your feet together. Keep your spine long, slowly sit your hips back and round your upper back while tucking your chin into your chest.

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15. Lat Stretch With Spinal Traction: To stretch the latissimus dorsi, take a firm grip on a bar while slowly lifting your feet off the ground. Avoid this stretch if you have recently injured your shoulder.

16. Lat Stretch At The Wall: Also for the latissimus dorsi, place both hands on the corner of a wall or post. Keep your spine long while slowly pushing your hips out to the side. Avoid this stretch if you have lower back problems.

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18. Standing Calf Stretch: To work the soleus and gastrocnemius, perform this stretch on the edge of a stair step. Lightly rotate your ankles to stretch the calf muscles actively.

20. Seated Forward Fold / Seated Toe Touch: To stretch the hamstrings and calves, sit and bend the knees as needed.

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27. Down Dog Variation At The Wall: To stretch your pectoralis and latissimus dorsi, position yourself far enough from a wall so that when you touch the wall your body becomes parallel to the ground. Hinge at the hips and keep your spine straight. Push your chest forward creating a slight arch in your upper back; stretch your lats and chest muscles.

28. Triangle Pose: This will work your external obliques. Start with a wide stance, your front foot straight ahead and your back foot at 90 degrees. Place your hand on your front leg or the floor as you sit back into your front hip, keeping your back straight.

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30. Supine Twist: This will stretch your glutes and external obliques. Lie flat on your back and bring one leg across your body. Slowly rotate your upper body in the opposite direction.

31. Seated Half Pigeon Variation: To work your anterior tibialis, sit with your feet in front of you and bring one hand behind you as you rotate your hip and bring one foot above your knee.

The full article of stretches can be found here: http://www.davidwolfe.com/34-pictures-muscles-stretching/
  **These stretches can not take the place of therapy treatments and are not prescribed by a therapist. 

How Occupational Therapy Can Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis

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There are many people who struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Here is an excerpt from the article, “10 Simple Adjustments to Relieve RA Hand Pain”, that could help you resume your daily activities that RA was keeping you from.

How an Occupational Therapist Can Help –

“According to an analysis of numerous research studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration, there’s a lot of evidence that working with an occupational therapist when you have RA can help you use your hands for everyday tasks more efficiently and with less pain. The occupational therapist’s goal is to ensure that you can participate in any activity you want while still protecting your joints and getting hand pain relief.

For starters, an occupational therapist teaches people with RA about disease self-management, Dodge says – offering instruction on joint protection techniques, how to use assistive devices, how to conserve your energy, and exercises that will help you do activities with less pain.  [They] may also explain how to use heat and cold as part of your pain management strategy.

The occupational therapist can also show you how to modify specific activities so you can still do them. For example, if you’re a woman who enjoys knitting, an occupational therapist can provide suggestions for adaptive equipment and offer techniques that allow you to enjoy your hobby more safely.”

10 Tips to Try Now

If you need hand pain relief from RA, use these suggestions from Dodge and Amini to modify activities to make them less painful:

  1. Build up handles on utensils and tools so that less force is needed to hold them while performing tasks. Pipe insulation is handy for enlarging handles.
  2. If you’re unable to lift a gallon of milk with one or both hands, buy half gallons or have someone pour half into a small pitcher.
  3. Rather than carrying bags in your hand, place straps over your forearm or shoulder. Rolling bags alleviate the need to lift and carry them.
  4. Use both hands when lifting objects, and keep your forearms close to your body.
  5. When possible, use your palms to grasp objects rather than your fingertips. Replace standard door knobs with door levers.
  6. Wear rubber gloves to enhance your grip when opening jars.
  7. Use electric appliances when possible.
  8. Use your entire body to move heavy objects rather than pushing with your hand, such as when opening a door.
  9. Use a rolling cart to move items around the house.
  10. Purchase pots and pans with two handles and slide them over surfaces instead of lifting them. Silicone sheets can be placed on delicate counter surfaces to protect them from hot pots.

**To read the entire article from Everyday Health, click here!

Encore Rehabilitation Locations offering Occupational Therapy:

Encore Rehabilitation-Athens  256-232-1221
Encore Rehabilitation-Bay Minette   251-239-5395
Encore Rehabilitation-Bessemer West    205-481-7125
Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman   256-775-3737
Encore Rehabilitation-Decatur   256-350-6331
Encore Rehabilitation-Foley   251-270-2505
Encore Rehabilitation-Haleyville   205-486-2753
Encore Rehabilitation-Hartselle   256-773-0138
Encore Rehabilitation-Hoover   205-682-7650
Encore Rehabilitation-Inverness   205-408-4123
Encore Rehabilitation-Jackson   251-246-1214
Encore Rehabilitation-Mobile I65   251-459-8402
Encore Rehabilitation-Mobile Providence   251-634-2214
Encore Rehabilitation-Saraland   251-675-3933
Encore Rehabilitation-Spanish Fort   251-625-2170
Encore Rehabilitation-Vernon   205-695-0689
Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield   205-487-0540
Ocean Springs Neurological Vestibular Rehab   228-818-1207

If rehabilitation is in your future, choose Encore!

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