(WETM) – Do you struggle with sore, achy muscles and joints?

Andrew Bang, DC, a chiropractor with Cleveland Clinic, says there are three things you can try to ease common aches and pains. First, he recommends trying heat. 

“If we can get the heat to help penetrate those areas where you have pain, you have increased blood flow; those ligaments, tendons, connective tissue loosen up back to a lengthened state instead of a tightened state,” he explained. “So, you tend to have less pressure on a joint, then you tend to feel better.”

Dr. Bang says heating pads, warm rice socks or even a paraffin wax dip can help heat penetrate deep into joints, increasing blood flow and reducing discomfort. 

Second, try loosening up muscles that get too tight, like your neck, with a gentle stretch. 

According to Dr. Bang, gently stretching tight muscles brings blood flow back into those areas and can provide relief.

Third, he recommends tightening up overstretched muscles to relieve aches and pains.  

For example, sitting all day may overstretch the mid-back and cause pain. Dr. Bang suggests tightening up those muscles by squeezing the shoulder blades together and holding for 30-to-60 seconds every couple of hours. This creates movement, increases blood flow and can reduce pain. 

“I find that the body loves, it craves, and a couple of things. It craves movement. It craves a variety of movements,” said Dr. Bang. “Repetitive movements tend to lead to pain and irritation. Whereas with a variety of movements, you tend to have relief in pain and increase in blood flow.” 

Dr. Bang likes to tell the people he treats that ‘motion is lotion’ – basically, if you keep moving, you’ll have less pain. 

He says generally, the more people sit, the more they complain of pain.