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At-Home Chiropractic Exercises To Speed Up Recovery
When you receive treatment at Team Elite Chiropractic, we’ll show you several exercises you can do at home between sessions to speed up your recovery. These exercises fall into three categories: self-myofascial release, mobility, and strength exercises. In this article, we will elaborate on three of our most common exercises we recommend in each category.
Self-Myofascial Release exercises can help reduce physical pain and discomfort associated with tight or stiff joints and muscles. All you need is a tennis or lacrosse ball to try these at home.
SMFR Low Back
Lie on your back with your knees bent and place a tennis or lacrosse ball under your lower back to the right or left of your spine. Roll over the ball until it hits a tight spot, then hold your position for at least 30 seconds while doing a count of five deep breaths. Repeat these steps for every tight spot on your lower back to loosen your muscles.
SMFR Upper Trap
This exercise loosens your upper trapezius muscles (traps). Stand in a doorway and wedge a ball into the doorway. Bend forward until your chest is parallel to the ground. Press your upper trap into the ball and lean forward into the doorway until you find the tight spot. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds while doing a five-deep breath count, then move to another spot.
This exercise helps reduce pain in the piriformis muscle located in the glute near the back of the hip joint. Sit on the ground with your hands behind you propping you up. Place a ball under your buttocks, then roll around to identify tight spots. Cross your right foot over your left knee if you are treating your right side, or do the opposite if you are treating your left side. Hold for 30 seconds while doing a five-deep breath count, then move to another spot.
Mobility exercises can help you increase your flexibility and movement. All you need to do these at home are tennis or lacrosse balls, a sock, and a band.
Double Tennis Ball
Place two tennis or lacrosse balls in a sock to create a “peanut.” Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and place the peanut under your mid-back. Hold your head up, tuck your chin to your chest, and bring your elbows in. Hinge your spine over the peanut, do five short pumps, and then roll the peanut up your spine to target the next tight spot while working your way up to the base of your neck.
Super Band Cervical Traction
For this exercise, attach a super band to something sturdy, like a doorknob. Lay on the ground with your head away from the door. Pull the super band so it has a good stretch and hook on the back of your skull. Shift your body away from the door so the band has tension. Use that tension to pull the head up and away from the body. This will lengthen the neck and open up the joints.
Sit on the ground with one leg out in front and one behind. Your hips and knee should be at a 90 degree angle. Target your front leg by lifting your torso up and forward over it, this will stretch your hip into external rotation. Keep you back straight and take a few deep breaths. Reverse to the other side by shifting your right hip backward and look over your back leg, this will get your back leg into hip internal rotation. Take a few breaths and then switch sides.
Strength training exercises strengthen your muscles and joints and help prevent future injuries. You don't need any equipment to do these three exercises at home.
Lie flat on your back with your arms and legs sticking straight up in the air, so your body resembles a dead bug. Extend one leg out and raise your opposite hand above your head while keeping your core tight and your lower back flat on the ground. Alternate moving the opposite arm and leg for sets of 20 reps.
Lie on the ground with your knees bent, keeping your heels close to your buttocks. Tuck your pelvis, so your back flattens toward the ground, then use your glutes to squeeze and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Lower back down, then repeat to complete a series of reps.
Reach Roll Lift
Get on all fours with your forearms and knees on the ground. Without letting your chest dip toward the ground, drive your elbows through the ground. Reach one arm out at a 45 degree angle, roll the thumb up towards the ceiling, and lift that thumb up towards the ceiling by pulling your shoulder blade down and back. Release this arm, return to center, and repeat on the other side.
In addition to these at-home exercises, we recommend several at home techniques to treat and prevent injuries.