• Deanne Pandey

Decompressing the Spine

Our spine plays a very important role in our body. That is why, protecting it becomes even more imperative. All day long our spine is working to keep us upright. When you’re sitting in a chair, your spine is engaged, keeping your torso from slumping over, and holding up your 10-pound head. It works extra hard when we pick up heavy objects, whether it’s a loaded barbell or a week’s worth of groceries. But many of us still take our all-important spines for granted – slouching, not moving enough, moving too much the wrong way or putting pressure on it with various daily activities. In essence, spinal discs become compressed. Spinal compression that occurs during sitting and other daily activities squeezes fluid out of the discs and causes pain. Decompressing the vertebrae by gently stretching them apart allows fluid to make its way back in. As the vertebrae are gently separated from each other, a vacuum effect is created inside the discs. It is this vacuum effect that pulls in some of the water that leaks out due to spinal compression. This makes spinal decompression vital. Usually, surgical methods are used for the same. Although you need not necessarily go to a chiropractor to decompress your spine. There are few exercises that specifically aid spinal decompression.

They are-

1. Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a common yoga resting position that helps to elongate your spine.The resting pose requires you to get onto your knees. Then, press your lower back towards your feet whilst stretching your arms forward. This decompression exercise is an effective way to stretch the spine. It will also help to disperse any pressure on your discs.

2. Knees to Chest

One of the best decompression workouts to perform in the home is the knee to chest exercise. All you have to do is lay on your back and curl your knees to your chest. You must also wrap an arm around your knees. The exercise helps to elongate the spine on the floor, so the floor can massage your back. You could even rock back and forth to stretch your back even more, which can target various areas of the body.

3. Cat Stretch

The cat stretch probably looks exactly how you would expect it to. You have to get onto your hands and knees like a cat. You must then arch your spine whilst bringing up your hips and neck. Raise your lower back and ensure you tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds before relaxing your abdominal and lowering your back.

4. Inversion Table

Invest in an inversion table to hang safely upside down, which will help gravity to stretch the spine. You must hook your ankles before gently tilting back in the table until you are upside down. It’s an effective way to decompress your spine. This is ideal when you’re between spinal decompression appointments.

5. Exercise Ball Extension

To perform the workout at home, you’ll need an exercise ball extension that suits your height. You can then lay face up towards the ceiling with your back against the exercise ball. Once you feel comfortable, roll backward. This can be a helpful way to extend your spine to ease the pressure from the discs.

Spinal decompression helps you avoid injuries to the spine which is directly proportional to the well being of your body. Thus, doing these exercises will help you stretch your spine and improve your posture.

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