Top 5 Stretches/Exercises to Help with Spinal Care
Why is Spinal Care Important?
Spinal care is a very important part of our body’s health and wellness. After all, it is the backbone of the human body! Taking good care of your spine will ensure that your nervous system and immune system are functioning at 100%. Luckily there are a few things that you can do in the comfort of your own home to maintain or improve your spinal care.
Does Drinking Water Really Help?
A normal vertebral disc, which is the jelly-like substance that sits between two vertebrae or bones in our spine, is made up of about 85% water. Drinking plenty of water each day is crucial for the health of your intervertebral discs. Throughout the day, the discs in your spine leak water and unfortunately do not rehydrate themselves. As water releases from the discs, they become smaller and thinner. Degenerative Disc Disease or Arthritis occurs when the discs between your vertebrae become thin causing bone to sit on bone, which in turn can cause bone spurs. Adding just a few extra glasses of water per day can significantly lower your chances of developing degenerative disc disease or arthritis.
What are some Exercises or Stretches to Help?
There are several exercises and stretches that can help to improve spinal care by targeting muscles that play a role in our posture. These exercises are relatively simple and require no equipment at all. By performing these 5 simple exercises daily, you can improve the health of your spine, posture, and lower the risk of developing DDD or Arthritis without leaving your home.
Spinal Care Exercise #1: Prone Press Up or Cobra
- Start by lying on your stomach, face down
- Next, put your forearms underneath your chest, close together
- Then push up on your forearms only creating a curve in your lower back
- Be sure that your hips do not come off of the table
- Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat 10 times
- For a deeper stretch-push up from hands instead of forearms
Spinal Care Exercise #2: Cat/Cow or Cow/Camel
- Begin on all fours; both hands and knees on the ground spaced evenly apart
- First, you will push up arching your back with your chin tucked to your chest (the cat/camel)
- Then you will let your stomach fall while bringing your head up creating a slight dip in the lower part of your back (the cow)
- Repeat 10 times
Spinal Care Exercise #3: Knee to Chest
- Start by lying on your back, face up, with both legs straight
- Wrap both hands around the kneecap and pull your knee toward your chest
- Be sure that your other leg remains straight
- Hold for 10 seconds, repeat with other leg
- Repeat this stretch 5 times on each side
Spinal Care Exercise #4: Chin to Chest
- Begin in either the standing or sitting position facing straight ahead
- Take both hands and interlock them behind your head with thumbs facing down
- You then gently pull your head down until your chin meets your chest
- Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat up to 10 times
Spinal Care Exercise #5: Shoulder Blade Squeeze
- Begin in a standing position or sitting on a backless chair
- Raise arms, and bend elbows, starting with arms at a 90-degree angle
- Squeeze shoulder blades together; hold for 1-2 seconds, and release
- Repeat 10 times
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