One thing to prevent shoulder and knee pain – stretching
While it’s true that athletes are more susceptible to injuries that result in terrible knee and shoulder pain, in reality, there are many activities we regularly engage in that can contribute to the development of this uncomfortable and painful condition.
For example, everyday activities like reaching for a kitchen appliance in the top cabinet, giving a long-overdue coat of fresh paint to the house, or lifting your carry-on luggage into overhead compartments, can combine over time to create a painful and restrictive shoulder pain that’s not so easy to come back from.
Similarly, our knees bear the brunt of our physical exertion, often without us even being aware of just how much we are doing to impact them negatively. Our knees are usually the first joint we experience pain in that is related to wear and tear. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage connecting bones becomes worn over time.
What can we do to prevent pain in the knee?
When it comes to the knee joints, the most important thing we can do to keep them in optimal condition is to regularly stretch all of the muscles that work to support the knee, such as the butt muscles, hamstrings, and calves. When the surrounding muscles are strong, the level of exertion for certain activities can be absorbed by them in conjunction with the knee, resulting in a less direct impact on the knee, thus, no knee pain.
The following stretches can enormously help in preventing knee pain and knee injuries:
Hamstring Lying Stretch
This stretch is equally important for both fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts and people who spend long hours sitting (basically everyone). Avoiding this specific type of stretch shortens the hamstring which can ultimately culminate into quite a stiff muscle. This stiffness can also contribute to knee pain, so it’s important to maintain flexibility within the hamstring.
Towel Calf Stretch
This is an exercise that should be performed once or twice a day to improve flexibility in the calves. Since the calves work with the knees and other leg muscles to allow us to walk, it is crucial to maintain their strength in order to avoid a troubling pain in the knee.
Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
The last thing a person needs are tight hips as they have a trickle effect down to the hamstrings and ultimately, the knees. This stretching exercise is key in opening up the hip flexors, which are the driving force behind many of our day-to-day movements.
How to put a stop to the shoulder pain?
Shoulders have their own set of recommended practices to strengthen and stretch them.
Shoulder WAccording to Dzuka Lin, PT at Action Reaction Physical Therapy, this stretch is ideal for posterior rotator cuff and lower trap activity, which is of benefit since the upper traps typically have a higher level of activity.
Internal and External Rotation Dumbbell Curls
While the muscles used for internal rotation are typically well-trained, developing the muscles needed for external rotation can be a real challenge, since they are not utilized as frequently.
Quadruped Thoracic Rotation Stretch
Years of minimal exercise can leave many people stripped of many functional shoulder movements. It’s common to overlook or substitute building this area of the bodies for a different one, but the truth is we have to work on creating inclusive workout routines that utilize our complex muscular system in its entirety. Use this one, in particular, to encourage thoracic mobility, which is key to maintaining good posture and can prevent pain in the shoulder that results from decreased subacromial space.
It all boils down to maintaining good stretching habits that are not at all limited to pre-workout routines. A commitment to a morning and evening stretch will ensure providing continuous attention to the body areas that can are of most concern.