As we embark on our New Year's resolutions and goals, it's vital to prioritize our physical health, especially our orthopedic well-being.
Orthopedic health is all about taking care of our bones, muscles, and joints. It's like giving our body a strong foundation so we move day to day without any problems.
When we talk about mindfulness, it's often in the context of mental well-being, but have you ever considered how it can transform your physical health, especially your orthopedic health?
In today's fast-paced world involving computer and phone use, conditions like Upper Cross Syndrome (where the chest and head cave in and forward), Lower Cross Syndrome (where the lower back is overly arched), and Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc) are increasingly common.
Here's how mindfulness can help you maintain orthopedic health:
In this moment, are your shoulders relaxed or creeping up to your ears?
Is your back comfortably supported?
These small checks, though they seem trivial, are like tiny drops of nourishment for your spine and muscles, keeping conditions like Upper Cross Syndrome and Lower Cross Syndrome at bay.
Mindfulness and innovative exercises can help to reshape the way your head, neck, and shoulders work together to provide a more balanced, comfortable posture.
Try these exercises next time you get a break:
1. Scapular Wall Slides
Stand against a wall with your back flat against it. Bring your hands up with elbows at a 90-degree angle and press the back of your hands and arms into the wall.
Slide your arms up and down the wall like you're opening and closing the cactus arms. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades and improves posture.
2. Thoracic Spine Rotations
Sit on the floor or a chair, keeping your back straight and feet planted firmly on the ground. If you're sitting in a chair, place a small, firm pillow or a rolled towel between your knees.
Clasp your hands behind your head and gently rotate your upper body to one side, focusing on moving from your mid-back.
Hold for a moment, feeling the stretch, and then gracefully switch to the other side. This exercise brings a spotlight to the often-neglected thoracic spine, encouraging mobility and reducing the strain on your neck and shoulders.
3. Dynamic Neck Stretches
Stand or sit comfortably, then imagine drawing circles with your nose. Start with small circles, gradually making them larger.
Feel free to add some organic movement to this exercise and encourage natural flow. This dynamic movement, different from the static neck stretches, brings a fluidity that helps in relieving tension in the neck muscles, a common issue in Upper Cross Syndrome.
You may also place your fingers on the vertex of your head, with your thumbs resting on either side of your spine. Use your elbows as a pivotal force, bringing them together and downward while pressing the force of the movement into your neck.
You can move your thumbs to different positions while moving your neck through range of motion, creating a lot of space around your cervical vertebrae.
As you incorporate these techniques into your routine, observe the changes in your posture and comfort. Remember, the journey to better orthopedic health is not just about repetition, but also about exploration and adaptation.
By introducing these new exercises, you're not just going through the motions; you're actively engaging with your body in a dialogue of health and well-being.