Summer is here so most of us take a bit of time off to relax on holiday with friends and family. Whether it is at the beach, farm, forest, bach, lake or simply cruising around home. This presents us with a great time to do a bit of self-checking and maintenance.
Wherever it is you are staying and whatever you are doing, take a moment each day to learn something new about your body. Here is our guide to self-checking and a few stretches that might help.
From head to toe:
Neck – look Left and Right. Can you go one way further than the other?
– tilt your head side to side. Does one side feel tighter?
Shoulders – reach straight ahead and up to the roof. Does
one arm go further than the other or is it easier to move through the range?
– reach out to the sides and up to the sky. Does one arm get stuck, feel more difficult, or is more uncomfortable than the other side?
Thoracic Spine – cross your hands across your chest. Keep your hips still (easiest done when sitting) and rotate one way, then the other. Can you rotate further one way than the other?
Lower Back – touch your toes, lean backwards, lean to the
left and lean to the right. Do any movements feel stuck, tight or
– lying on your back, bring one knee to your chest then with the opposite hand on your knee pull it across to the opposite side you of you body. Can you go further one way than the other?
Pelvis – in standing or sitting, rock your pelvis all the way forward then all the way backward. Can you go one way further than the other?
Hips – lying on your back, hug one knee then put your foot flat on the ground and let your knee fall out to the side. Does one leg move better than the other?
If any of the movements above feel tight then you can do that movement as a stretch. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds 3 times and repeat a few times each day. Then be more mindful of how you use that area when you are relaxing in standing or sitting, you may be rotated or hitching or holding it in a funny way.
If any movements feel uncomfortable (or painful) start to think about what actions make that area feel worse, and what action makes it feel better. This will be a great start to help diagnose the true injured structure and your compensatory movements. Try to spend more of your holidays doing the relieving action and less of the aggravating movements. As soon as you get home, book in and see us to get it checked out.
This self-checker can be used all year round. We encourage you to find out your ‘normal’ range of motion for each joint. This helps you get to know your body so you can more effectively recognise and report problems if they arise.
Use your holiday time to give your body an oil up, from the top to the bottom. And we wish you a happy and safe holiday!