There is a misconception that exercise causes pain, but actually, the issue of pain is often rooted in a lack of flexibility. Flexibility is the mobility of joints in order to achieve their full range of motion, as well as the muscles’ ability to move around the joints freely. However, when we lack this essential tool, we are sending misinformation to our body about how to move. Our bodies’ are capable of adapting to this limited range of motion, but over time it can lead to compromised body positions. Hence, more pain. In other words, flexibility is the mechanism that allows your body to move without restriction. When restriction is present, pain occurs. This is similar to our joints’ reaction to inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Now, what if we could combat this stiffness and reduce pain just by stretching every day? Well, you can! Perry Fine, MD, a board member at the American Pain Foundation says, “Everybody can do something.” She explains how exercise not only reduces one’s perception of pain but also helps overcome limited functioning. There’s this trend of- get moving, feel better. Now you don’t necessarily need to go to a gym to reap these benefits.
The prescription: Get into a nice, comfortable stretch. Hold it for 15-30 seconds. Breathe Deeply. Rinse. Repeat.
Here are some exercises that play a major role in increasing flexibility and that anyone can do anywhere: