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Keep Your Spine Healthy with 4 Simple Stretches

June 03 | 2024
Posted by Sharon Tierney

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Oftentimes, people can be scared to move their backs certain ways, or that some movements are bad, and they will injure themselves if they do them. Truthfully, the more we avoid these movements, the harder they become to do which can actually lead to a greater chance of injury. Keeping the spine mobile and strong with exercises every day is the best way at minimizing the risk of injury. Ultimately, it helps our bodies build resiliency. There are many gentle movements and stretches to choose from that are great for keeping a healthy spine!

Getting Started

Firstly, these exercises may not be appropriate for you if you have any pre-existing conditions or have already sustained an injury or have pain. If you’re not sure, it is best to consult with a health care professional like a physiotherapist to determine the best course of action.

Our spines are designed to bend forwards (flexion), backwards (extension), sideways (side flexion), rotate from side to side, and a combination of the above. The following exercises will lead your spine through all these different movements.

1. Lumbar rotations

Image from hep2go.com

Lying on your back with your knees bent so the feet are flat on the floor. Then, gently let the knees fall from one side to the other, feeling a stretch in the back.

2. Cobra

 

Image from hep2go.com

For extension, the cobra is a great stretch. Most of us do not do this movement much in our daily lives, we are always bending forwards. To prevent any imbalances from occurring, we should try to perform all the movements equally. Starting on your stomach, place your elbows on the ground and gently press the body up while keeping the hips on the floor. If this is not enough of a stretch, you can push up onto your hands.

3. Child’s Pose/Prayer Stretch

Image from hep2go.com

This stretch incorporates a bit of spinal flexion and side flexion into one movement. Starting on your knees, slowly slide the hands and chest forwards. Then, you can walk them side to side, experiencing a nice stretch down each side.

4. Sun Salutations

Borrowing a move from yoga, this is a great dynamic stretch. It takes you through a full range of motion through the back as you flow from one position to the next. It is important to note that this can be a bit more of an advanced stretch, but the good news is you can easily modify it to suit your level. Classically, it consists of 10 different positions. Here is a step-by-step guide to complete your first sun salutation!

Need more help?

Look no further than PhysioNow! We are happy to offer physiotherapy and massage services across the GTA including Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, and Etobicoke. Book with PhysioNow today for your first appointment!

 

 

 

 

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