We hit the gym to flatten, tone and tighten trouble spots on our bodies, but the spine is often overlooked in many people’s exercise regimens. Maintaining a strong and healthy spine, though, can play as critical a role in a healthy lifestyle as regular exercise. If back or neck pain is interfering with your daily life, ask your spine doctor about spine exercises and activities that could benefit you.
- Walking: Making time to walk for as little as 20 minutes a day can help to reduce your risk of developing future back problems. This low-impact exercise strengthens muscles in your feet, legs, hips and core, all of which support the stability of your spine.
- Water Therapy: If walking causes too much pain, exercising in the pool can be an effective alternative. Activities like aqua jogging or deep-water aerobics are performed in a gentle, no-impact environment and can reduce compression on the lower back and strengthen muscles.
- Stretching: Daily stretches provide a simple means of releasing pain in your lower back. Even if you are not suffering from pain, consider practicing spine stretches to increase flexibility and prevent your susceptibility to injury in the future.
- Stability Ball: A popular method for stretching and strengthening back muscles is exercising with a stability ball. Performing back extensions supports a greater range of motion while simultaneously strengthening your glutes and hamstrings.
- Yoga: Yoga is a discipline that can help to improve your posture and flexibility, qualities that support a healthy, neutral spine. Yoga’s emphasis on controlled breathing can also help to facilitate better circulation throughout your body. Certain yoga poses, such as the bow or bridge pose, are targeted for stretching the spinal cord and can provide a therapeutic outlet for pain.
For more spine exercises and recommendations, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.