Spine Exercises You Can Do at Home to Strengthen Your Back
Do you have chronic back pain that’s causing you to miss work? Are you looking for spine exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home?
If you have back pain that’s lasted for more than three months, you have a chronic condition. Surprisingly, more than 75% of all adults report that they’ve experienced pain in their back.
Back pain is one of the primary reasons that people call off of work. Doing regular spine strengthening exercises, however, can help manage pain levels.
If you deal with back pain every day, this article’s for you. We’ll describe some effective spine exercises and help you figure out if you’re a good candidate for spinal surgery.
The Tree Position
One of the easiest spine alignment exercises to try is the tree position. Stand up and reach your hands as far as you can toward the ceiling. If you can’t move your arms very far, just stand as tall as you can with your hands by your sides.
If you can put your hands over your head, try to hold them there for a count of five. The next time you do the exercise, try for a count of six and increase from there.
Just keep practicing the tree position every day, preferably in the morning before you go to work. You might be surprised to find that your back and neck pain levels are much lower.
If you feel any pain during these exercises, it’s okay to stop. You can try to breathe through the pain, but pain is your body’s way of telling you it’s had enough.
The Rock Pose
The rock pose is one of the most simple spine alignment exercises out there. It’s actually an ancient yoga pose called Vajrasana, and it’s been done by people around the world for thousands of years.
What you do is kneel on a soft surface and sit back onto your heels. Try to relax and breathe for about 30 seconds at a time. If your back is sore, you won’t want to do it for much longer.
The great thing about these spine stretching exercises is that they’re effective in very small doses. If you can do them for longer than a minute, that’s great, but don’t push yourself at first.
If you can, try to do the rock pose on a full stomach, before you go to bed. If you have a yoga mat, you can use it, but you can also do this exercise by kneeling on your mattress.
The Plank Stretch
People who hate working out are going to love this exercise. The plank stretch only requires that you lay face-down and try to support your weight on your arms. If you can’t support your weight, it’s okay to lay on your stomach for a few minutes.
Plank stretches are great for improving your core strength, which in turn improves your spine strength. You’re not trying to do a push-up, but you’re putting your arm down from your elbow to your hand.
Again, take your time and see how this exercise feels. You can do it standing up against a wall if that works better for you. Put your forearms against the wall and lean in just a little bit.
Spinal alignment takes some time, and if your back has been “out of whack” for a while you’ll need to start slowly.
Standing and sitting may seem like a really easy workout, but if you have back pain it could be a challenge. Take a minute or two each day to sit down and then stand up slowly.
The reason that the stand-and-sit is one of the most difficult spine straightening exercises is that it forces you to focus on your alignment. If you need help standing up, you can use the wall or a cane.
You don’t have to do the stand-and-sit every day, but try to do it at least once per week. If you spend a lot of time sitting at work, you might find that a standing desk is a big help for your back pain.
Keep an eye on your pain levels, though. If you have chronic lower back pain, you could have a problem with torn discs. Degenerative disc disease can come as a result of a car accident, or simply from growing older.
Spine Exercises with Weights
If these exercises are making you feel better, try to extend your workout by a few minutes at a time. You can use light weights if you want to go for a deeper workout.
If you don’t have weights, you can actually use something everyone has at home. Go to the pantry and take out two cans of vegetables or soup.
Hold them in your hands while you stretch, and they’ll give you the same benefit as regular weights.
Another option for bumping up your home workouts is to get a resistance band. It’s a loop made out of rubber and it makes your muscles work a bit harder. Start with the lightest resistance band and work your way up from there.
Is It Time for Spinal Surgery?
Unfortunately, your pain may not go away, even with regular exercise or physical therapy. You may have tried getting a massage, going to the chiropractor, and taking time off from work.
If you have problems sleeping and standing, you could be a good candidate for spinal surgery. There are options that aren’t invasive, and that are done on an outpatient basis.
You could be up and around within a few days instead of a few weeks. We offer a free assessment of your MRIs and can help you determine if spinal surgery is right for you.
Spine exercises are a good place to start, but if your pain keeps getting worse, come in and see us. We’ll get your medical history and spinal images in order and see if you’re a good fit for decompression or stabilization surgery.
You can book your appointment online or give us a call. We’re looking forward to working with you!