The spine is one of the most important parts of our body. Without it, we could not keep ourselves upright or even stand up. Our spine gives our body structure and support. It allows us to move and bend. The spine also protects our spinal cord. The spinal cord is the column of nerves that connects our brain with the rest of our body, allowing us to control our movements. Without a spinal cord, we can not move any part of your body, and our organs can not function.
Almost every single movement or duty we perform relies on the spine that is how central the spine is to over all good health. The vertebrae consist of 30 bones stacked one on top of the other like a column, this is collectively known as the spinal column. The main role of the spinal column is to protect and house the spinal cord. It also supports the weight of the head and keeps it in a level position while we are walking or standing.
There are thousands of muscles that come in all shapes and sizes in the back that move and support the spine. These muscles are programmed to issue a warning sign in the form of pain when the health of the spine is in danger. Keeping these muscles strong, flexible, and properly balanced is the key to solving back pain.
Spinal flexibility is very important to help keep our vertebrae apart so that the discs do not become compressed. Flexibility comes before strength. Simple exercises performed regularly can keep our spine flexible and help us maintain a healthy back. These exercises will also decompress spine and increase the circulation of spinal fluid, which helps to ease tension in the surrounding muscles
Lower Spine Flex: Sit cross-legged. Hold on to shin of each leg. Flex navel (and hips) forward as you inhale and back as you exhale, setting a steady pace. Inhale slowly as you sit up straight, and then exhale slowly. Breathe only through your nose.
Torso Twists: Again sit cross-legged. Put your hands on your shoulders, thumbs in back and other fingers in front, arms up parallel to the floor. Begin turning your upper body and head from side to side. Your head should moves only with the body and no further. Inhale as you swing to the left, exhale to the right
Spine Strengthener: Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Keep your fingertips at shoulder level and your heels together. Inhale and raise your head and then your chest off the floor. Keep your pelvic girdle on the floor and hold the position while breathing for one minute. Exhale and lower your upper body to the floor very slowly. Repeat 6-10 times
Side Bender: Stretch as far as possible to one side as you exhale, then inhale and return to the middle. Repeat on the other side. Repeat 6-10 times.
Forward Hip Bend: Arch your back and maintain the arch, breathing normally. Hold the position until you can feel the stretch in your buttocks and hamstrings. Breathe evenly and hold for one minute. Straighten your back then repeat 6-10 times.
We have all been told since childhood to "stand up straight". But it's easy to get into bad habits. Good posture means the spine is in a "neutral" position - not too rounded forward and not arched back too far. So stand up straight and keep spine healthy.