Learn the most basic stretches, exercises, and spinal warm ups that you can try at home to either prevent, or even correct some of your physical ailments.
Hello again it’s Dr. Dillon Hammes from Total Health Chiropractic. Today I wanted to show you the most basic stretches, exercises, and spinal warm ups that you can try at home to either prevent, or even correct some of your physical ailments.
Everything we do in our office is custom, but these tips are a great starting point.
Remember, it’s what you do most the time that makes the biggest influence in your health. Watch the video above to see these stretches in action.
So let’s get started with posture.
I’m going to first explain in the seated position, because we spend a large portion of our life sitting. In fact as this poster shows, there is more pressure on your discs when you’re sitting than when standing. So you are just as likely, if not more likely, to injure yourself while sitting or bending than while standing. That along with slowing blood and nerve flow, is why they call sitting the new smoking.
TIP: If you sit at work, if possible, please remember to get up every hour and move around for a few minutes if possible.
I’ll be providing more posture tips later, but always think about:
- keeping your cheekbone, over your collar bone. On long drives think about keeping the back of your head against the headrest.
- along with keeping the earhole over shoulder joint. You need to have your Shoulders over your hips. which means pulling them back and down.
- when standing, make sure your hips are in-line with your ankles and shoulders, and you are standing with a shoulder width stance with your toes are pointed slightly outward.
For basic movement/stretches, please do them slowly and stop if they are painful. For beginners, some of the best basic stretches are meant to be done for 10-15 seconds to start, and can be done in this sort of order:
These are meant to be done to your max range of motion, but please don’t overstretch. In the video above you will find me demonstrating each stretch.
Start with just a gentle forward bend into flexion, again I want you to stop if any of these cause discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds. Make sure you are breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. Then begin to extended your neck backwards while looking up at the ceiling for 10 seconds.
Now you will do lateral flexion 10 seconds each side. Please let us know if there is any discomfort with any of these and exactly where its at.
Next is Gentle rotation so turn your head all the way to the left as far as you can go for a count of 10, then to the right. It’s probably also important to say we always recommend stretching the tighter side last.
You do the same basic movements in the lower back, and again please stop if there is discomfort.
For the lower back I like to start with side stretches, so lets do this for about 10-15 seconds each direction.
Then do forward flexion, and I don’t really care how far you can bend right now, just figure that out on your own, and try to improve over time. I like to just hang here with my arms dangling. This works great laying on your back if you just pull your knees to your chest for a few seconds.
Then extension bending backwards for 15 seconds, this one works great if done on the ground as upward dog too.
Rotation in the low back I prefer to do in the seated position, just turn and twist for about 10 seconds each direction. Stop if any pain.
Some people find this part to be the easiest, but some people find it to be the most difficult. Spinal Molding.
It’s very common to lose the normal curvature in your spine due to all the stuff we do each day, so we are going to lay on some custom molded pieces of foam, to push the curves in the correct direction. This works especially well after performing the previous spinal stretches and warm ups, as supporting the natural curves helps your discs to be in better alignment. You can get these blocks through us, but to start at home I suggest laying on a rolled up towel. Take a normal sized bath towel and fold it in half. Then proceed to roll it up where you will stuff it under your neck then lay face up on your back. You can do the same thing with a small towel or block in the small of your low back, or just below your lowest rib, but make sure that your knees are bent when there is support under the low back.
You can lay on these blocks or towels for 20 minutes at a time maximum but you stop if you feel discomfort or get dizzy. If you don’t have a full 20 minutes that’s fine, aim for at least 5 but something is going to be better than nothing as long as you are consistent. This will relieve some of the stress on your neck, upper back, and shoulders and help when you aren’t feeling well. The whole time you lay on these you have to breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth allowing your body to fully relax.
So to review everything we just covered. You can go through the gentle range of motion stretches at home. Stop if there is pain and tell us where it’s at. That should really help with tightness, stiffness, and are usually safe for anybody to do.
For more advanced activities, the dyna disc is a great home tool for reduce and prevent low back pain, tightness, disc problems or sciatica. It’s especially good for daily maintenance.
Foam rollers help with rounded forward shoulders, mid back pain, tightness and can be used on almost any body part of muscle.
Cervical traction on a wall or doorway helps to reduce and prevent neck pain or stiffness, disc problems, tingling or numbness, even headaches.
Spinal Molding is effective when performed after the warm ups, adjustments, or exercise for stretching and restoring the normal curves of the spine. Great for fixing your posture.
Watch the video above to see these devices in action and get more information about their use.
That’s probably enough information for right now, we will make another post later that covers basic spinal strengthening exercises, but we always want to improve mobility before strengthening anything.
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Thanks for watching and keep smiling.?