stretching

Simple Stretches You Can do at Home to Relieve Pain

As we get older, our bodies don’t respond the way they used to. Sleep wrong and you have a stiff neck for a week. Reach for something on a shelf and you feel your shoulder make a weird noise. Bend over to grab something off the floor, and you throw out your back. The scenarios are endless!

Regardless of what the task is, you’d probably feel a little better if you were more flexible, right? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), approximately 50millionadultslivewithchronicpain. Experts suggest that chronic pain can lead to depression, troublesleeping and stress

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are plenty of stretches that you can do from the comfort of your home to enhance your flexibility. Even though these are basic stretches, you should always consult with your doctor to be sure they are safe. Bonus – no workout equipment needed.  


Overhead Side Stretch – This stretch can strengthen the muscles between the ribs known as the intercostal muscles. 

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your arms overhead and interlace your fingers. Keep your torso straight and gently lean to the left. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat on the other side. 

Modifier: Sit in a chair, keeping your hips, knees, and toes forward. If it’s uncomfortable to lift your arms overhead, rest your arms on your hips, or keep them down by your sides. 

Shoulder Stretch – This stretch can relieve muscle tension, pain, and tightness in the neck and shoulders. 

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and reach your right arm across your body. Place your left hand on your upper right arm, and slowly draw your right arm closer. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat. 

Modifier: Sit tall in a chair, keeping your hips, knees, and toes forward.  

Triceps Stretch – Helps develop upper body strength which becomes increasing important as you age.  

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and raise your arms overhead, bending your right arm so it’s behind your head. Place your left hand above your right elbow, and gently draw your right arm in. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat. 

Modifier: Sit tall in a chair, keeping your hips, knees, and toes forward.  

Hamstring Stretch – Having flexible hamstrings can prevent lower back pain, reducing injuries, and improve flexibility and posture.  

How to do it: Place your right heel in front of your straight leg with toes up. Without rounding your lower back, gently hinge forward from your hips until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. 

Make it easier: Do this stretch while seated in a chair, resting your heel on the floor in front of you. 

Calf Stretch – Your calf muscles support the lower leg, foot, and ankle, strengthening them can help prevent injuries. 

How to do it: Stand with your left leg in front and slightly bent, and your right leg straight behind you. If you’d like, perform this stretch near a wall or counter, holding on for support. Gently press your right heel into the floor to feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. 

Modifier: Sit in a chair for a seated calf stretch.  

Supine Knee to Chest Stretch – Stretching you hip and lower back muscles can help relieve pressure on spinal nerves by creating more space for nerves as they exit the spine.  

How to do it: Lie on a mat with your legs straight. Keeping your upper body down, lift your right knee toward your chest as far as comfortable. Gently grasp the back of your thigh to draw your leg closer to your chest. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Release, switch legs and repeat.  

Modifier: Sit in a chair for a seated knee to chest.  

Cat-Cow Stretch –  This yoga pose is said to improve posture and balance. 

How to do it: Start on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips. Gently round your back up toward the ceiling (like a cat) while tucking your chin toward your tailbone. Then reverse the movement by arching your back (like a cow) while lifting your hips and head. Continue alternating for 10 to 30 seconds. 

Modifier: Perform seated if getting on the floor is uncomfortable. 

These easy at home exercises may leave you feeling years younger and help to eliminate some of the everyday aches and pains that we’ve often become used to. All videos are created and owned by Doctor Jo and are in no way affiliated with Noble Horizons. 

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