by Lily Eslahjou
Were you ever told to stop exercising or to avoid ‘moving’ a certain way in order to avoid pain? Truth is, the less we move our bodies the more our bodies get used to not moving, and this, can worsen the condition and the pain.
Over the last 15 years I have lead all ages and bodies with various limitations through Yoga, Pilates, mobility/flexibility routines. The most overused excuse for not trying Yoga is “I can’t do yoga I’m not flexible”. Flexibility doesn’t just show up and surely does not improve by sitting in a chair at work followed by sitting in a car and at home on the couch and finally bed.
It’s important to add up the hours of non-Movement vs. Movement in your day to understand limitations and poor posture.
For instance working with Seniors I have observed through postural analysis; kyphosis (rounded upper back), minimal shoulder movement especially rotation in the glenohumeral joint (the shoulder joint), minimal external and internal rotation in the femur (the thigh bone) and great limitations in knees and ankle joints. It is always rewarding to see a shift once my clients learn that change is possible with specific spinal flexion/extension work, joint rotations in combination with stretch and breath work.
Rotating joints in the body increases range of motion and is hydrating. To move the joints and body in ranges that is not part of daily habits is training the brain to adapt and will better prepare the body in the newly acquired range. Injuries often happen when the joints/muscles are suddenly loaded with a weight they have not been trained to handle or when the body experiences a range of motion that is ‘outside’ the daily habits!
The good news about chronic pain is, Movement can help. I have chosen five simple moves as a complete routine for longevity. These moves can expand to many more angles and challenging levels however for the purpose of keeping it short and effective I have narrowed it down to a 10- minute routine.
Lily Eslahjou is a Toronto-based wellness educator and practitioner who specializes in movement therapy for chronic pain.