Stretching and Flexibility Go Hand in Hand

Stretching before and after exercise, as well as on a regular basis during periods of inactivity will give you better posture, and fewer aches and pains.

Stretching increases blood flow and circulation to your muscles, but it also gives your brain a boost according to wellness experts, often leaving those who stretch feeling cheerier.

Periods of inactivity such as sitting are hard on your glutes and hip flexors, so standing up to stretch can keep them limber and less prone to injury when you do exercise.

You need a healthy, flexible back for nearly every type of activity, so giving your back a good stretch can prevent injury.

One of the best benefits of stretching is better balance. Especially for older people, stretching can bring your body back into balance which can help prevent falls.

If, after stretching, you are still feeling tight, sore, or your range of motion isn’t what it should be, come in for a good neuromuscular massage. Massage reduces pain and increases range of motion.

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Raking Leaves is Great Exercise

Raking leaves is a perfect opportunity to get outside during the nice fall weather and get a little exercise.

Raking leaves is a moderate physical activity that can build upper-body and core strength.

Before you begin, a good warmup is in order. Raking uses nearly all the muscles in your body–arms, chest, shoulders, legs, and back.

Take a short walk about the yard, do a few arm circles, and stretch your legs and back.

Be sure to switch sides every now and again to prevent overuse injuries.

Don’t overfill the bags so that they become heavy to lift and move. Moving heavy bags can cause a strain on your back muscles.

If you’re stiff and sore after raking your leaves, a good neuromuscular massage may be just what you need before the next big wind leaves your yard full again.
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It’s Getting Cooler, but You Could Still be Dehydrated

Even though the temperatures are falling, you do not have to sweat profusely to become dehydrated.

Studies show that adults over the age of 50 are the most likely to become dehydrated because the ability to recognize thirst decreases, many older adults take diuretics to control blood pressure, and some people who suffer bladder control problems drink less than they should.

You know you’re not drinking enough if you suffer muscle cramps with physical activity. Adding a sports drink with sodium will help.

Suspect you’re not drinking enough if you experience altered mood, impaired memory or headaches.

The old rule still holds true, eight 8-oz glasses of water a day is where you start. You may need more if you’re physically active.
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Massage Relieves Upper Back Pain

While lower back pain is the number one complaint to massage and physical therapists, upper back pain can be equally aggravating. Many describe the feeling they have in their upper backs like having a brick between their shoulder blades.

This is because the muscles surrounding the spine in that area have become so tight that even crossing the arms over the chest can be painful.
Massage will target the small muscles surrounding the spine first, and then address the larger muscles out toward the shoulder blades to get rid of the brick, relieve pain and restore range of motion.
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Massage Can Lessen the Pain of Whiplash Injuries

Car accidents are the most common cause of neck sprains, commonly called whiplash injuries. Although neck fracture must be ruled out first, massage is one of the most effective ways to lessen the pain of the immediate injury and prevent the injury from becoming a chronic neck problem.

In addition to the major muscles of the neck, whiplash injuries can also cause injury to the muscles at the base of the skull, out along the tops and sides of the shoulder, and down the back along the shoulder blade.
Massage will lessen the stiffness of a neck injury initially. Once the superficial muscles are relaxed and blood flow is restored to the area, massage can help reduce any compression or adhesions to the deeper muscles which will lessen pain and restore mobility to the neck.
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If You Run or Bike and Have Knee Pain …

If you have pain on the outside of your knee and you run or bike, you could have iliotibial band syndrome or IT Band Syndrom for short. It is caused by overuse and is common in athletes who run or bike long distances. Most of the time, it manifests as pain at the outside of the knee, but the problem could be anywhere along the IT Band which runs from the hip to the knee. Neuromuscular massage can get to the root of the problem, thereby relieving the pain.
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Neuromuscular Massage Provides Restorative Care for Cancer Patients

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy manipulates the muscles, tendons and connective tissue to help balance the central nervous system. By increasing blood flow, massage can help clear any cellular waste that is causing the receptors in the tissue to become more sensitive and therefore more painful. Massage releases endorphins, the body’s own pain killers, while enhancing the ability of joints to move freely.
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Massage can Help Patients Being Treated for Cancer

One benefit of massage is that it brings a feeling of well-being and relaxation which can help with the stress, anxiety or even depression associated with dealing with cancer treatment. Massage increases the body’s production of endorphins which elevate mood and flushes the waste product, lactic acid, out of muscles.

Massage also relieves pain and stiffness, increases mobility and reduces pain.

The National Cancer Institute found that more than half of their cancer centers offer massage as an adjunct to traditional treatment especially for those patients who suffer from fatigue.
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Do You Have Pain in Your Shoulder Blade?

There are many causes for shoulder blade pain, including activities that make the muscles in the chest tight. When that happens, the muscles in the back lengthen as a result.

Either way, neuromuscular massage can relieve the pain by allowing the muscles to regain their natural posture.

1. Sleeping on the same side every night.
2. Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder or the other.
3. Sitting at the computer with your arms outstretched can tighten the muscles in the chest.
4. Holding a small child with the same arm, or resting on the same hip.
5. Overworking your pecs at the gym.

If you have been doing any of these repetitive activities and are feeling pain around your shoulder blade, schedule an appointment.

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Other Hazards in the Garden

Dehydration – remember to take breaks to hydrate.

Insects – wear insect repellant to avoid insect bites.

Sunburn – cover exposed skin with long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a wide-brimmed hat and use water-resistant sunscreen.

Infection – wear gloves to avoid getting a soil-born illness through a cut or scrape on your hands, and keep your tetanus vaccination up to date.

Cuts – most gardening tools have sharp edges or pointed tips. Take care that you do not cut yourself with a gardening tool.

Falls – decorative yard features and hard-to-see garden hoses can be hazards causing trips and falls.

Major Trauma – powered gardening tools account for 50,000 trips to the emergency room each year, with the powered lawn mower accounting for more than 40,000 injuries each year alone. Be cautious with your powered tools.