Most of our waking hours are spent standing or sitting vertically. This means that your spine is regularly working against the force of gravity in order to keep posture upright. This pressure puts constant strain on your spine and causes it to become compressed. The compression on the vertebrae can put pressure on our spinal cord and its associated muscles. Which can cause discomfort and pain.
Today we’ll go over what spinal decompression is and if you should attempt to decompress your spine at home.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical procedure that is used to relieve pressure that may be accumulated on the spinal cord. Including pressure that may be compressing nerve roots passing through or exiting from the spinal column. Ideally we would recommend coming into SOHMA of Long Beach and Lakewood CA where we offer Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression using a specialized decompression table called a spinal traction. You are fitted with a harness around your pelvis and abdomen. The Spinal Traction table is used to take pressure off of your spinal cord and vertebrae. It can also reposition those vertebrae naturally. For optimal benefits some patients may require as many as a couple months of treatment.
Can you decompress at home?
Of course there are ways to do spinal decompression at home, though your results may vary. There are exercises and stretches that you can do which work on the concept of spinal decompression to help give your lower back some relief. At SOHMA we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before beginning any at home exercise routine. If these exercises and stretches are not suitable for you they may end up causing more pain.
At Home Spinal Decompression Stretches
There are many stretches that can be used to decompress your spine, below are 3 examples of simple stretches that can be done at home without the need of special equipment.
A very simple exercise that can be done by most people.
- Stand on even ground with your legs at shoulder’s length apart.
- Reach both of your arms over your head and interlock your fingers and straighten your elbows.
- While holding this position pretend to reach up and touch the sky.
- Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, determined by your comfort level.
Do this as needed throughout the day.
This stretch has provided many people lower back pain relief but it is more advanced. This will be performed on the floor so we recommend a yoga mat to make it more comfortable, though it is not necessary.
- Go onto your hands and knees to begin this stretch.
- Keep going down until your glutes touch your feet while on your knees.
- Bend over at your hips and reach forward with your hands on the floor.
- Based on your comfort levels, hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat after a minute of rest between stretches.
The further forward you reach with your hands while stretching the more decompression you will feel.
Using Your Bed or Couch
You can use the edge of your bed or the hand rest of your couch to decompress your lower back.
- Using an additional pillow for extra comfort, lay it flat on your bed or couch. Making sure your knees are slightly off the ground.
- Your weight should be on your toes in order to relax your back and core muscles.
- Tuck your chin towards your chest and straighten your arms at the elbow.
- Reach forward with your hands and hold onto the surface of the couch or bed and try to pull yourself forward.
- Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds depending on your comfort levels.
- After resting for a minute try to reach further than you did previously.
You’re going to feel a great stretch into your upper back that makes its way down to your tailbone. Also due to your position, you will feel a stretch from your hip to your knees.
There are many other factors that go into decompressing your spine. If you feel that the stretches are not relieving enough pain. You may require the use of a Spinal Traction table for Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.
Take the Next Step In Improving Your Health by Contacting SOHMA Integrative Medicine
Our goal is to help you improve your health. You can reach out to us and ask us about the Myers Cocktail, IV Therapy, Chiropractic care, or how our other health service lines can help you with your journey to improved health.
Located in Long Beach and Lakewood, CA we help individuals from the surrounding cities.
We look forward to helping you take the next step in your journey to better health.