Spinal compression is described as excessive strain on the spine, specifically on the vertebral discs. These discs are meant to act as cushions between each vertebra. When spinal compression occurs, this causes pain symptoms and stiffness along the back. Poor posture, injuries, or staying in one position for too long can cause the spine to compress.
Some doctors are suggesting certain yoga-related exercises and stretches to help decompress the spinal discs. Stretching helps to elongate the back muscles and reduce the tension on your spine.
The first exercise to try, the cat stretch, is aimed towards relieving pressure in the lumbar region of the spine. Start by positioning yourself on your knees and elbows. Tighten abdominal muscles as you raise your lower back. Hold for 15-20 seconds and slowly relax abdominals to release into starting position.
The back arch stretch is also aimed at relieving compression of the lumbar discs by elongating the lower spine. Begin by laying your back. As you breathe deeply, clasp your hands behind your knees. Pull your knees into your chest, bringing your hips a couple inches off of the floor. Lift your head to your complete the stretch. Hold for 7 seconds and slowly release. Repeat 10 times, at least once a day.
Lastly, the child’s pose is a basic yoga pose. This pose stretches the spine by elongating the lower body against the thigh muscles’ natural curvature. This stretch begins on your knees. From there, lower your head to the floor with your arms stretched out in front. Gently, pull your upper body forward to increase the lower spine stretch. Hold for 10 -15 seconds and slowly release.
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