Feeling out of alignment? Here are a few exercises we recommend that can help keep your spine in line. Just like chiropractic care, regular exercise is preventative maintenance for your body, keeping your body aligned and functioning well by supporting the skeletal and nervous system that are your body’s foundation.
There are times we can’t make it to the chiropractor, such as when we are traveling, and there are times when we want to keep our spines aligned between visits to our chiropractor. Possibly after a long day slouched in your office chair or in the seat of a car, you may need a few stretches to get yourself feeling better. Here are a few things you can do in your own home, guest room or hotel to help keep your spine aligned.
Forward Head Posture and Slumped Shoulders
A forward head posture is categorized by having your head “jut” out. It puts a ton of pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles, which is one of the most common complaints of pain.
Neck Press. Take two fingers and place them on your chin. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, press your chin back and down as though you are removing any curve in the back of your neck. Hold it for a count of 3 and release. Repeat 3-5 more times.
Shoulder Squeeze. Sit up straight with your head over your hips and lift your arms up and point your elbows out at 90 degree angles to the side. Inhale and on the exhale, pull your elbows down, squeezing your back muscles between your shoulder blades. Hold for 3 seconds, release and repeat 3-5 more times.
Sciatica and Low Back Pain
Low back stretch. Lay on your stomach on a firm surface, slowing lift your upper body using your arms, keeping your pelvis on the surface. Return back down and repeat about 5-10 times.
Flex and Extend. Position yourself on your hands and knees, making a flat “table top” of your back. Gently round your back up and tuck your chin, as though you are stretching like a cat. Hold it for about 10 seconds then slowly bring your back down and push your belly to the floor, tilting your pelvis and arching your back while lifting your head to look at the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat the series 5-10 times.
Twist. Lay on your back and bend your knees with your feet planted on the floor. Gently pull the left knee into your chest and use your right hand to pull it across your body to the side. Guide it to the floor, but don’t push it beyond what is comfortable. Allow your hip to come off the floor and turn your head the opposite direction of your knee. Hold for 10-20 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Exercises for spine alignment can be done in many ways.
If you find it difficult to do exercises on the floor, many techniques can be done in a chair. Contact your chiropractor to learn more stretches to help you with specific problem areas or to modify any exercises or stretches to better fit your situation.
Don’t forget to check back in for regular chiropractic care! We can create a care program that is complimentary to your life and your exercise habits to keep you where you should be with your spinal and immune health.