Spinal mobility and flexibility is one area where I feel, I ventured into very late. My damaged body had to restructure itself, repair and heal and only then could I begin to condition myself to improve on my mobility and flexibility. Hence this webpost.
Simple mobility and flexibility exercises should be incorporated into your everyday routine so that you don’t have to suffer to learn. The word exercise might sound daunting for those who don’t walk down that path, but it is honestly nothing more than merely oiling the machine. Our spinal cord holds neurotransmitters, messengers that carry signals to the brain. The spinal cord is protected by the spine, a structure so intricate yet strong. 33 vertebrae separated by discs of softer cushiony tissue pumped up with collagen which are shock absorbers and act like coiled springs. These make smooth and painless movements possible.
The spine is divided into 5 parts: the cervical(7), the thoracic(12), lumbar spine(5), and the sacral(5) and the Coccyx(4). Any impingement of discs, or reduction in their size can cause abrasion of the vertebrae. This can cause restricted movement and is often very painful. Injury to the spine can at its worst cause paralysis and even death. But here, we are speaking of degeneration, wear n tear, or shifting of the discs. A sedentary lifestyle, long hours of sitting, improper posture, incorrect sleeping position, or place, can all impair spinal mobility. The flexibility of the spine depends on the cushioning that the discs provide. So, it is important that we keep in touch with our spinal health to make sure that we can do all our daily activities pain free.
Simple exercises done everyday will help in maintaining mobility and flexibility of the spine. Strengthened spine can mean better posture, daily activities done with full range of motion and pain free. A protected spinal cord means nerve impulses from the body to the brain are conveyed better, faster and complete. Hence not only are conscious movements better, but also sub conscious movements like breathing can be improved mindfully.
A lot of my exercises are for core strengthening, so that they can be performed by maintaining a neutral spine. However, these exercises are specifically for creating easy and flexible movement of the spine. A stiff neck, upper back or lower back can create a lot of pain along with restrict breathing, arm and shoulder movement, elevate urinary incontinence, heighten period and menopausal pain, and even long lasting damage during pregnancy or obesity.
Do consult with your doctor if you are already having a spine problem and use the help of a trainer for the first few times you do them till you get used to them. Ten minutes of your time can increase the health of your life line.