Taking care of your spine

Arthritis is a term we’ve all heard and used. It’s very common but often misunderstood as it’s used to describe many different ailments that cause tenderness, pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which essentially means the cartilage around the joint wears out, causing the bones in the joint to rub together, creating inflammation and pain. Arthritis can occur in any joint, including the spinal vertebrae. Osteoarthritis of the spine can lead to decreased flexibility, bone spurs (osteophytes), irritated nerves, spinal stenosis, and sciatica.

Most people who are in pain do not want to move and be active; however, exercise has been shown to be the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain for people with osteoarthritis. Specific exercises, done correctly, can help strengthen the muscles around the joints (removing stress), improve mobility and reduce pain and stiffness. Regular exercise has many other benefits such as improving endurance, promoting blood circulation, providing energy, increasing sleep quality and decreasing depression.

Keep your spine happy starting with these 3 exercises:

  1. Spinal Decompression:

    • Lay on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor or bed, keeping the neck in a neutral position.

    • Have both the arms resting out to the side with palms facing up.

    • Allow the body to completely relax, and hold position for a few minutes.

    • Add a gentle shoulder press into the bed/floor and hold for 3 sec to help with posture


2. Transverse Abdominus (TA’s)

  • Lay on your back with your knees comfortably bent and using one of the following cues, gently activate your Transversus Abdominus (T.A)

  •   Pull your belly button towards your spine without changing the curve in your lower back

  •   Gently lift your front passage up towards your belly button without moving your pelvis

  • While breathing normally, try to hold a T.A. contraction.  As you get better at activating this area, try to increase contraction hold time. 


3. Lats in lying

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent, head in a neutral position.  Hold tubing in each hand with arms straight out slightly below chest level.

  • Stabilize one shoulder and pull straight down to your side with the opposite arm, keeping your elbow and wrist straight throughout.

  • Return slowly to starting position and repeat, alternating arms.

  • Repeat 3-5 times on each side to start and increase reps slowly


Questions? Call us at the clinic!