If you’re experiencing the discomfort of back pain that results a compressed spine, finding suitable exercises to alleviate pain and improve mobility is crucial. Engaging in low-impact exercises can help ease discomfort without placing excessive strain on your spine.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of exercising when you suffer from a compressed spine, and present a range of low-impact exercises designed to provide relief from the symptoms that arise.
Understanding Spinal Compression
Spinal compression occurs when the your spinal column becomes pressed down. This causes the vertebrae and discs in your spine become compressed, leading to conditions such as herniated discs, pinched nerves (including sciatica). In turn, these conditions can cause pain, reduced mobility, and potential nerve impingement.
Most commonly, the lumbar spine and the cervical spine are affected, bu the the thoracic spine and hips can also be affected by compression.
Low-impact exercises and simple stretches can play a vital role in managing these symptoms or even relieving them altogether, as they offer the benefits of movement and flexibility without exacerbating the condition.
Benefits of Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact exercises are gentle on the joints and spine, making them an excellent choice for individuals with spinal compression. These exercises offer several benefits, such as:
1. Pain Relief: Low-impact exercises help alleviate pain by promoting blood circulation and releasing endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
2. Improved Flexibility: Stretching and controlled movements in low-impact exercises can enhance spinal flexibility and reduce stiffness.
3. Muscle Strengthening and Postural Improvement: These exercises target key muscle groups, offering support to the spine and improving overall posture.
4. Minimised Impact: Unlike high-impact activities, low-impact exercises minimize stress on the spine, reducing the risk of exacerbating spinal compression.
Low-Impact Exercises for a Compressed Spine
Below you can find a few examples of low-impact exercises that can be beneficial if you suffer from a compressed spine.
1. Swimming: Water provides buoyancy, reducing the impact on your spine. Swimming and water aerobics help strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve cardiovascular health.
2. Walking: A brisk walk on flat terrain keeps you active, which allows you to maintain muscle strength, which in turn supports spinal health. Maintain an upright posture while walking to engage core muscles and enhance stability.
3. Yoga: Gentle yoga poses focus on stretching and strengthening the spine, promoting flexibility and relaxation. Poses like Cat-Cow, Child’s Pose, and the Sphinx Pose can all be beneficial in this regard.
4. Pilates: Pilates emphasizes core strength, which helps stabilise the spine. Controlled movements and controlled breathing enhance muscle support for the spine.
5. Tai Chi: This mind-body practice involves slow, flowing movements that enhance balance, coordination, and flexibility while reducing stress.
6. Spinal Decompression: It should go without saying that engaging in exercises that decompress the spine can be beneficial for people with a compressed spine. Thankfully, there is a wide range of such exercises to choose from, some of which target specific spine regions, or others that work on the spine as a whole. You can find a comprehensive list of spinal decompression exercises, as well as video guides to perform them effectively, by visiting this page.
Spinal decompression exercises are best performed with the Spinal Backrack, which allows for long-term pain relief due to its decompressing and gentle stretching benefits.
The Backrack Spinal Decompression Device
Before starting any exercise routine for a compressed spine, consult a medical professional, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Listen to your body and perform exercises within your comfort level. Avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.