The human spine is a miraculous, elegantly balanced system that supports our entire body. Every movement we make engages the spine. Over time, just about everyone will develop a spinal issue. Back pain is one of the main reasons people visit their doctor, and is also a common cause of missed work.
Exercising is often the best way to deal with back pain and enhance the health of your spine. Take a look at some of the best exercises for a healthy spine, back and neck.
- Lie on your back with your knees drawn up at a 45 degrees angle and feet on the exercise mat.
- Lift your hips off the mat, trying to make a straight line with your knees, hips, and shoulders.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Lower your torso and repeat the movement 10-15 times.
- Get on your hands and knees.
- For the 'cat' portion of the exercise, arch your back outwards like an angry cat. Hold for a few breaths, and then relax.
- For the 'cow' stretch, arch your back inwards, pulling your shoulders back and sticking your tummy out. Hold for a few breaths and relax again.
- Repeat alternating cat-cow stretches for ten minutes or so.
Press-up Back Extensions:
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight.
- Place your hands palm-down on the floor, directly beneath each shoulder. You may go to your elbows if this is too much.
- Press up, lifting your upper body but not attempting to lift your legs.
- Hold this pose for as long as you can.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor or your mattress.
- Draw your right knee up to your chest, hold for a few seconds, then gently lower your leg.
- Repeat the exercise with your left knee.
- Continue for 10-15 repetitions.
These exercises can help improve the health of your spine. Speak to your provider about your specific conditions before trying these at home. The Spine Clinic of Oklahoma can help evaluate your spine condition and develop a personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Doug Beacham III, DO is a fellowshipped-trained, dual-board certified physician in the fields of Anesthesiology and Pain Management (American Board of Anesthesiology). He has practiced in Oklahoma since 2013, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Pain Society. Dr. Beacham is proud to offer Oklahomans the most advanced and effective techniques capable of treating a full spectrum of acute and chronic conditions.