Morning Back Pain? I find when I first wake up in the morning my back is quite tight, locked up and subsequently, painful. As I busy myself in the kitchen with the morning routine of making breakfasts and packing lunches I often have to pause and stretch. This little sequences of four stretches can give me instant relief, and following on from my post about 'hanging around' I thought I’d share a few more of my favorites for Spinal Decompression.
Benefits of Spinal Decompression
⭐️ Can take pressure off the discs of the spine which aids in pulling nutrients, oxygen and moisture back into the disc which can reduce pain levels.
⭐️ Creates more space for the nerves exiting the spine which can also reduce pain levels
⭐️ May improve blood flow in the region which can aid in the healing of irritated structures in the area
⭐️ Allows the spine to move in the opposite direction that gravity has been “pushing” it.
These stretches gently pull on the spine, creating space between the bones. Essentially reversing the effects of gravity on the spine.
Kitchen Sink Stretch to Low Squat
Grab on to the kitchen sink/bench and lean your hips back, and straighten your legs.
Squeeze your lower legs toward one another to stabilize.
Lift your arms, rib cage, and belly
Breathe as you lengthen your spine
Next walk your feet toward the sink and bend your knees. Sit back as if you were sitting into a chair.
Lean back and feel your spine lengthen
Walk your feet in even closer and drop your pelvis down to a squat.
Hang your hips down to stretch the muscles along your spine and your lower back.
Once comfortable in the low squat, bring your hands down to chest level and press your elbows into your knees.
As you bend your knees and lower your torso toward the floor, you’ll feel a delicious opening in your lower back, and an increased rotation in your hips. I do this stretch sequence as often as I feel necessary during my day, its benefits are not just in decompression of the spine!
⭐️ Opens, loosens and strengthens tight hip joints, increasing flexibility, stability and range of motion
⭐️ Stretches and lengthens inner thigh muscles
⭐️ Relieves pain and compression in lower back
⭐️ Strengthens knee and ankle joints
⭐️ Releases tight shoulders
Knees to chest
One of the best to perform at home and easy to do in bed or on the bedroom floor for a harder surface, is the the knee to chest stretch. All you do is lay on your back and curl your knees to your chest, then wrap your arms around your knees.
⭐️ This exercise helps to elongate the spine on the floor, meaning that the floor can massage your back.
⭐️ Not only does it restore flexibility and feel great in most instances, this type of exercise helps make positive changes in the joint, along with increasing blood supply and assisting nutrients to flow into the area.
⭐️ For your safety, start doing the knees-to-chest stretch with one leg only. If, after a few days, you're performing it without pain, it’s likely time to advance to lifting both legs.
Extended Child’s pose
Another favorite that I’ve blogged about before (see Pain in the back?) is this traditional yoga pose. Its spine lengthening benefits provide a gentle stretch for the back and shoulders by relieving pressure on the spine, while gently stretching the whole of the upper body.
Starting on all fours, allow the knees to slide out to the sides, feet stay together. Travel the butt backwards to meet the heels. Hands, forearms and head slide forward and come to rest on the ground, rest here for as long as you wish.
These exercises are extremely gentle, but of course, listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain, there are many reasons for having lower back pain, so it makes sense to get checked out by your GP or Physiotherapist.
Enjoy Stretching! Let me know which ones work for you.
Health + Happiness