Maintaining Mobility during Isolation

Given the high correlation between daily stress and chronic pain, now more than ever, exercise is essential in our self care routine. Everywhere we turn there is another announcement or pandemic response, a commentary on self isolation or social distancing, and someone, somewhere, looking to sell us a magic cure.
It’s an onslaught.

As an EDS patient, I rely greatly on regular full-range movement exploration to manage my pain/physical capacity. It made sense to use a combination of movements that I find helpful for myself, and for my patients to create a simple daily regimen of “movement snacks”. Just about every movement demonstrated is scalable, and can be modified to suit your needs in terms of your own capacity.

*Please note, my form isn’t perfect, nor is it meant to be. I’m not trying to focus on a perfect repetition so much as a movement that feels good for me.

Hip Girdle

I don’t think I need to state the prevalence of lower back and sacroiliac pain we see in our clinics day to day. Whether you’re working in a relaxing spa environment or with elite athletes in a competitive setting, lower back pain is practically ubiquitous. The effects of daily stress on low back pain are well documented, and regular movement is one of the best ways we can try to manage that. I’ve found hip girdle based exercises incredibly helpful for this.

The following link begins with some femoroacetabular movement and gradually grows from there to greater complexity and difficulty:

Training the hip girdle for strength and mobility

Shoulder Girdle

Headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness. We were taught that a quintessential intervention is the good old fashioned doorway (pec) stretch. Get up, stretch, lather, rinse, repeat. It gets old fast, and loses efficacy even faster.

For my own rehab, overhead range of motion has always been a focus, as well as addressing ongoing issues with thoracic outlet syndrome and management of chronic dislocations. End range exploration and competence is key.

The following link features scapulo-costal movement, glenohumeral movement, resistance and coordination to tie it all together:

Training the shoulder girdle for strength and mobility 

Spine and Trunk

I find a commonly overlooked area of core training is mobility, rather than flexibility (with flexibility being how far you can be moved through a range, and mobility being your ability to control that flexibility). We’re often taught about core strengthening, and diaphragmatic breathing and the like, but I regularly find that core mobility to end ranges is a great daily intervention.

The following link opens with some basic control and builds up in terms of simple to complex ranges of motion,and mild to moderate resistance.

Training the trunk for strength and mobility

These videos are intended as demonstrations of movement exploration only, not interventions for existing pathologies. If you’re uncertain about any movement, consult with a professional.


Chadi C Abdallah, and Paul Geha “Chronic Pain and Chronic Stress: Two Sides of the Same Coin?”

Eric Bowman, “Low Back Pain: What Are We Doing Wrong and What Can We Do Better?”