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Take better care of yourself!

Whatever your story has been over the last few months, you have probably had to adapt to a lot of change. One of the challenges has been less access to health care, hands on treatments and normal exercise routines, which may have left you with some worsening ongoing issues or untreated new injuries. Here are some tips on reducing musculoskeletal pain and staying mobile.

One of the main principles of osteopathy is that good circulation is key to health and healing and three great ways of achieving that are through massage, joint articulation and exercise.

Self Massage

Work from the extremities towards your chest. Use oil or skin lotion if needed to reduce friction on the skin.
 Use a comfortable amount of pressure, it doesn’t have to be painful to be effective! Take nice deep breaths when you massage to help the muscles relax.

Neck and shoulders

Using the tips of your three middle fingers, with medium to light pressure work the muscles in little circular motions. Reaching your hands back over your shoulders gently drag muscles away from the spine and pull shoulder muscles from back to front.

For the sides use the base of the thumb/heel of one hand on the opposite side of your neck and gently stroke from top to bottom.

Between shoulder blades

Place a tennis ball or massage ball between your spine and shoulder blade and between you and a hard surface, i.e. the wall. Apply pressure and roll around on the ball finding tension and easing it out. Don’t forget to breath

Lower back & buttock muslces

Either use a ball again as described above or take one fist behind your back, press the base of thumb or first finger knuckle into the muscles either side of the spine, reinforce the fist with the other hand and stroke the muscle upwards. For buttock muscles use a ball or foam roller.

Legs and feet

Drag your knuckles or heels of the hands up and down the front of your thigh muscles. A foam roller is particularly useful for calf muscles and the back of thighs.  You can find more tips on foam rolling here. For feet, roll a ball under your foot on the floor or sit, bring one foot to rest on the opposite knee and use both hands to massage the base with your thumbs.

Forearms and hands

Hold your forearm in front of you with the thumb pointing up, gently grip the forearm muscles nearer the elbow, with the opposite hand, hold on to the muscles whilst rotating the forearm away so the palm is facing up.

Joint mobility and Stretches

Focus on different sections of the body going from top to the bottom.
 Move in all ranges, ie. forward/backward, side to side and rotate, eg. for the neck: look up, look down, take right ear to right shoulder, left ear to left and then look over each shoulder.

So why not start taking better care of yourself and remember our team of Osteopaths are always happy to assist if you need further help.