Spine health is a matter of significant importance as we age. Unfortunately, for the first generation whose lives are dominated by computers and TVs, we are already seeing some major spinal problems developing among those who spend long hours sitting, even when they are still young! Combined with weight gain and other health issues that are prevalent today, our spines are suffering. That’s why at Royal Spine Surgery, Dr. Abdulhamid has put together five daily exercises to improve your spinal health.
If you have space to lay down on the floor, you have space to do Supermans. This exercise helps build muscle from the top of your shoulders all the way down to your glutes. Just lay down on your stomach, and then slowly raise up your legs and your arms until you are balanced on your abs. Make sure you squeeze your shoulders together as you lift. Hold for a few seconds and then lower yourself back down.
Bridge or Butt Lifts
Lay on your back with your feet planted near your butt. Lift only your hips, arching your back upwards so that you are resting on your shoulders, then lower yourself back down slowly. Make sure your feet are pressed firmly into the ground and you are getting a full stretch without putting pressure on your neck when you go up.
Similar to Supermans, start this exercise laying on your stomach. Instead of raising your arms and legs together, start by lifting alternating arms and legs. When your left leg goes up, your right arm goes up, and vice versa. Do 10-12 reps and then take a rest. Again, make sure that you are activating your shoulders when you raise your arm, rolling them back for a good stretch.
With your hands and knees planted shoulder width apart, start by taking a deep breath in and pushing your belly down toward the ground, arching your back until you feel the stretch all the way through your tail bone. Now breathe out and reverse the stretch, sucking your bellybutton toward your spine and arching your back upwards until you can feel it from your shoulders to tail bone.
Reverse flys can be done with or without dumbbells depending on your skill level, although we recommend starting without weight until you get the movement down properly. Start standing with your feet hip width apart, bend your knees slightly and bend forward at the waist to a 45 degree angle. Now put your arms out straight and lift them up at your sides and back to pinch your shoulder blades together. Practice this movement several times to ensure you are using the correct muscle groups before you add weight.
These five back exercises can be done at home or at the gym. You can find many alternate versions if you have limited range of movement or limited space. Practicing these back exercises for just fifteen minutes a day can reduce lower back pain and help build stronger muscles in the long run.
If you're experiencing back pain, it's recommended that you consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise routine. However, exercise and lifestyle adjustments are often the best first plan of attack when it comes to back pain. If you're experiencing back pain that interrupts your quality of life, set up an appointment with us today. We believe in taking an integrated, holistic approach to back pain, helping our patients to avoid surgery whenever possible, and utilizing the most advanced methods of spine surgery to speed recovery and avoid spinal fusion.