Fast Facts About Bones and Stretching

The best offense against muscle pain is a good defense. Dr. Edward Soriano, D.O., Department of Physical Medicine and Rehab at Sinai Hospital, advises that a few simple stretches can keep the spring in your step, whether you’re an experienced athlete or consider gripping the armrest of your recliner and hollering at the refs to be your weekly cardio.

The next time you’re relaxing in bed, try curling your knees to your chest, one at a time, and slowly releasing them. If you’re gearing up to hit the treadmill or just killing time during commercials, you should also try a few basic runners’ stretches. Wall push-ups are especially easy: Stand roughly three feet from a wall with your feet at shoulder width. Keeping your arms straight, flatten your hands against the wall. Then lean your hips forward, bending your knees slightly to stretch your calves.

For an even deeper stretch, bend forward to lower your body to waist height and bring one foot forward (keeping your knee still slightly bent); then lift the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the calf. Your body will be humming along happily afterward.

Ground control to Major Tom: Take your calcium and put your helmet on. Space may be the final frontier, but it sure doesn’t do a body good. Our planet’s gravitational field applies a constant pressure on our skeletal systems, which forces healthy bones to maintain the density needed to support our bodies. So astronauts floating through a zero-gravity environment often experience bone loss, and when they return to earth, they’re more susceptible to fractures.

Astronauts often use restraints to strap themselves to a treadmill just to create the necessary weight-bearing environment. Here on earth, things are a little simpler: Walking the dog, jamming out with our iPods while jogging, or joining a pick-up game of basketball are good ways to make sure we build bone mass

Snap, crackle, pop: Some of us hear this familiar little ditty whenever we get up from our desks and indulge in a good long stretch. These aren’t the sounds of three elves doing a conga-line around a bowl of milk; they’re simply our joints in motion. A healthy joint is comprised of bone that is supported by smooth cartilage, which is, in turn, protected by a capsule lined with fluid-producing synovial membranes. This fluid is made up of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide gases; when joints crack, these capsules stretch, which produces and releases gas bubbles.

“The sound is kind of like opening a bottle of soda,” Dr. Soriano muses. “Because it’s opening the joint, which creates a negative pressure and lets nitrous gas escape, and that creates the pop.”

Though old wives’ tales and internet comments alike caution us that cracking our knuckles will lead to arthritis, Dr. Soriano says that it’s okay to feel your joints occasionally crack during normal stretching. However, if you find yourself cracking your spine excessively, you’re not only grossing out your officemates, you should probably consult a physician to find out what is causing the pain and pressure.

-Laura Bogart

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

1 Response

  1. Thanks for this info. Calcium is must for bones health. It makes them strong & flexible. Proper diet, exercise, stretching of joints helps a lot in strengthening them.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Thanks to #Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan who recently visited the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai to shine a light on the work of #TracysKids, an #arttherapy program that helps so many of our patients and their families. #FirstLady #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Children #Healthcare #Hospital #Art #Expression (📸 Credit: Tracy's Kids)

    lifebridgehealth: "Thanks to #Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan who recently visited the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai to shine a light on the work of #TracysKids, an #arttherapy program that helps so many of our patients and their families.

#FirstLady #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Children #Healthcare #Hospital #Art #Expression (📸 Credit: Tracy's Kids)"
    26
    0
  • #School's out for #summer, but we just received these photos of students from #Randallstown #HighSchool who are part of #NorthwestHospital's health care magnet school program. They came to the #hospital a few weeks ago to share what they've learned and to celebrate the program's inaugural year. #Learn #SummerSchool #Medical #Health #Healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Students

    lifebridgehealth: "#School's out for #summer, but we just received these photos of students from #Randallstown #HighSchool who are part of #NorthwestHospital's health care magnet school program. They came to the #hospital a few weeks ago to share what they've learned and to celebrate the program's inaugural year.
#Learn #SummerSchool #Medical #Health #Healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Students"
    19
    1
  • #MondayMotivation #LifeBridgeHealth is so appreciative of @victonation and all that she does to bring smiles and hope to the children and their families at the Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. You are our Supergirl!!! #SinaiHospital #MakingInvisibleIllnessesVisible #MissFrostburg #ChronicIllness #Children #ChildrensHospital #Fight #Motivation #Brave #Bravery #Princess #SuperGirl #HopeForHenry #MissAmerica #SuperWoman #MAO

    lifebridgehealth: "#MondayMotivation #LifeBridgeHealth is so appreciative of @victonation and all that she does to bring smiles and hope to the children and their families at the Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. You are our Supergirl!!!
#SinaiHospital #MakingInvisibleIllnessesVisible #MissFrostburg #ChronicIllness #Children #ChildrensHospital #Fight #Motivation #Brave #Bravery #Princess #SuperGirl #HopeForHenry #MissAmerica #SuperWoman #MAO"
    36
    1
  • What’s going on in #Maryland this weekend? In a comment below, tell us how you’re spending your #weekend. #LifeBridgeHealth #Friday #FriYay #weekendvibes #TGIF #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "What’s going on in #Maryland this weekend? In a comment below, tell us how you’re spending your #weekend.

#LifeBridgeHealth #Friday #FriYay #weekendvibes #TGIF #Baltimore"
    9
    0
  • Have you seen the new "sign" in front of #SinaiHospital? Our facilities team definitely had a plan for planting these new shrubs in front of the #hospital. #LifeBridgeHealth #Summer #Plants #Garden #Maryland

    lifebridgehealth: "Have you seen the new "sign" in front of #SinaiHospital? Our facilities team definitely had a plan for planting these new shrubs in front of the #hospital.
#LifeBridgeHealth #Summer #Plants #Garden #Maryland"
    57
    0
  • Congratulations to the more than two dozen local #highschool seniors who received #ExpressCare #scholarships for their essays on how they will use their education to benefit their communities. The students and their families recently joined #LifeBridgeHealth CFO David Krajewski and ExpressCare CEO Dr. Maurice Reid for a celebratory dinner. Thank you #WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore's Gerry Sandusky for speaking with these deserving students about the importance of perseverance. #CollegeBound #College #ClassOf2017 #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the more than two dozen local #highschool seniors who received #ExpressCare #scholarships for their essays on how they will use their education to benefit their communities. The students and their families recently joined #LifeBridgeHealth CFO David Krajewski and ExpressCare CEO Dr. Maurice Reid for a celebratory dinner. Thank you #WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore's Gerry Sandusky for speaking with these deserving students about the importance of perseverance. #CollegeBound #College #ClassOf2017 #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth"
    18
    0
  • Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Haberman, who turns 105 today! Mrs. Haberman is #Levindale's oldest resident. Family and friends gathered for a celebration this weekend, and today she'll be having a crabcake for lunch, which is the one thing she wanted for her #birthday! #HappyBirthday #Celebrate #Cake #HBD #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #BirthdayGirl #BirthdayFun #Celebration

    lifebridgehealth: "Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Haberman, who turns 105 today! Mrs. Haberman is #Levindale's oldest resident. Family and friends gathered for a celebration this weekend, and today she'll be having a crabcake for lunch, which is the one thing she wanted for her #birthday! #HappyBirthday #Celebrate #Cake #HBD #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #BirthdayGirl #BirthdayFun #Celebration"
    35
    3
  • #Baltimore Ravens player Brent Urban and Chick fil A Eldersburg brought smiles, laughter and delicious food to our Children's hospital today thanks to @lbrhopeforhenry! #LifeBridgeHealth#LBR #nfl #ravensnation #SinaiHospital #Maryland

    lifebridgehealth: "#Baltimore Ravens player Brent Urban and Chick fil A Eldersburg brought smiles, laughter and delicious food to our Children's hospital today thanks to @lbrhopeforhenry! #LifeBridgeHealth#LBR #nfl #ravensnation #SinaiHospital #Maryland"
    22
    0
  • LifeBridge Health wishes everyone a safe and happy #FourthofJuly holiday! #July4

    lifebridgehealth: "LifeBridge Health wishes everyone a safe and happy #FourthofJuly holiday! #July4"
    7
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth employees and their families had a roarin' good time at The #Maryland #Zoo in #Baltimore! This annual event is a way to say "thank you" to our teams for all that they do. #EmployeeEvent #Employee #EmployeeAppreciation #TeamLifeBridge #Team #Work #WorkEvent @marylandzoo

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth employees and their families had a roarin' good time at The #Maryland #Zoo in #Baltimore! This annual event is a way to say "thank you" to our teams for all that they do.

#EmployeeEvent #Employee #EmployeeAppreciation #TeamLifeBridge #Team #Work #WorkEvent @marylandzoo"
    29
    0