Musicians. Computer users. Massage therapists. What do they have in common? They all use their hands and arms a lot in very repetitive ways. Anyone suffering from tight forearms, carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow pain, or wants to avoid those problems should take note.
We have habits and tend to move in limited ways. Our muscles develop habits. We use muscles in certain ways and neglect other muscles by not using them. Those unused muscles can end up going "dormant." If you've ever been in physical therapy, you may have had the experience of your PT giving you deceptively "easy" exercises that are impossible to do! That's because some of your muscles have become inactive. Those exercises are designed to wake them back up, to neurologically program them to start functioning again.
Our muscles are controlled by the nervous system. Every movement we make, every muscle fiber that is fired, is caused by the nervous system instructing it to contract or relax. Ultimately, the brain controls everything.
Our muscles and our brain like variety. When our movement becomes limited, we grow stiff. Bringing variety into our movement wakes up our brain, wakes up our nervous system, wakes up our muscles. It breaks patterns. This is a good thing.
Try These Novel Movements from Cory Blickenstaff
Cory Blickenstaff, physical therapist, is founder of Forward Motion Physical Therapy, in Vancouver, WA. He's one of a growing number of PTs who are incorporating new understanding of the nervous system into physical therapy. Cory has developed some "novel movements" designed to mobilize joints in ways that we don't usually do in our normal lives. These movements may be a bit challenging because they are unfamiliar, but they are not difficult and should not be painful. Personally, I find them kind of fun!
Musicians, computer users, massage therapists, anyone with hand, wrist, forearm, or elbow pain should give this a try. As with any stretching or exercise, if it causes pain, stop! This should feel good!
Try them out and let me know what you think.
And if your forearms are still feeling tight, try some therapeutic massage to help those muscles relax.
Thanks, Cory for sharing this with us!