3 MOVES TO IMPROVE YOUR SPINE HEALTH

Spine instability can cause back pain, but these “best three” exercises could help.

A strong core can stabilize your spine to keep your lower back pain-free and healthy. The muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine can weaken with age or due to an injury, making movements such as lifting, stretching, twisting, and bending difficult. According to research, the lower back often has to counterbalance this lack of movement, which puts more stress and strain on its muscles.

People suffering from back pain are often afraid of movement, making their back stiff and their pain worse. However, a stable spine is also more flexible so that it can support all-natural movements. And healthier moves will reduce the pressure on your low back and decreases the risk of pain and injury.

What Is Spine Stability?

Spine stability means that your entire core works together in rhythm, like a world-class symphony. If one thing stops, it can affect the whole structure. Spine stability is achieved through a balanced approach to your entire core muscles. This means that you train all your core muscles simultaneously – from the abs to your entire back. This is useful when performing movements that require sudden force and a wide range of motion, such as carrying or lifting groceries and placing them on the floor or table. 

How To Get A Stable Spine?

A spinal biomechanics expert developed the “Big Three” exercises, and they are curl-up, side plank, and bird dogs. These exercises work all the major muscles needed to improve the stability of the spine.

Here is how to do these three big three exercises. You need to follow a pyramid sequence: start with 5 reps of each three exercises. Then do 3 reps of each, and finish performing each exercise only once. The more comfortable you feel with the routine, the more repetitions you can make for each exercise, but keep following the descending pattern. 

Perform these exercises 2 or 3 days a week before your regular workout. After a while, you can do it every day.

  1. Curl-Up

First, lie on your back. Extend one leg straight out on the ground. Bend the knee of your opposite leg with your foot lying flat on the ground. Place your hands under your lower back to maintain the natural arch of the spine. Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the ground as if they were all connected while exhaling. Come off the ground enough to feel the tension in your muscles. Do not tilt your head back, bend your lower back, or tuck your chin. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slowly lower yourself. Perform five repetitions, then change your leg positions and repeat the sequence to complete the exercise.

  1. Side Plank

Lie on your side with your upper body resting on your arm, your forearm on the floor, and your elbow under your shoulder. Put your free hand on the top of your hip. Pull your feet back so that your knees are at a 90 ° angle. Lift your hips off the ground so that they are aligned with the rest of your body. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds. Keep a straight line from your head to your knees, then slowly lower your hips back to the ground. Perform this five times, then turn to the other side and repeat the sequence to complete the exercise. Straighten your legs instead of bending them to challenge yourself.

  1. Bird Dog

Get down on the ground on your knees and hands. Lift your left arm and extend it forward while raising your right leg and extending it straight behind your body. Keep your leg and raised arms parallel to the ground. Make sure your hips are aligned with your upper body and not tilted to the side. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the starting position. Perform this five times, then turn to the other arm and leg. Repeat the sequence to complete the exercise.

Take the right steps now to avoid the spine-related issues in the future: 

While not all back pain can be prevented, now is the time to protect yourself from avoidable spinal issues. It starts with regular exercises to lose weight and strengthen your back and abdomen’s core muscles. You can perform this along with targeted stretching and safe aerobic activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and yoga. In the meantime, be always careful of your posture – especially while sitting at your desk.

Below are details about these and other methods you can use to reduce the risk of chronic back pain:

  • Avoid excessive stress on your spine by practicing good posture and making ergonomic adjustments in your workplace.
  • Avoid lifting objects heavier than 25 percent of your body weight.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes vitamin D and anti-inflammatory foods to keep your bones strong and healthy.
  • Strengthen your core muscles through targeted exercises, including aerobic exercise, flexion (forward flexion), and stretching (flexion backward).
  • Be practical with your exercise routine and avoid overdoing it with repetitive movements that can lead to muscle sprains and strains.
  • If you face a lot of stress every day, find ways to loosen and relax your back and neck muscles at the end of each day.
  • Remember that depression can play a major role in back pain and seek help if you need it in the form of counseling and relaxation techniques.
  • If you have chronic back pain, see a spine specialist to determine the cause and the best treatment options to prevent further injury. Keep in mind that debilitating and recurring back pain is never normal and can be alleviated with the proper help.
  • Treat sprains and strains that occur with ice, rest, compression, and lifting as soon as possible, and consult a specialist if the pain is frequent or lasts for more than two weeks.
  • If you experience back problems in the morning, consider purchasing a better, more supportive mattress or sleep in a new position.
  • If you smoke, get the help you need to quit.
  • Ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications for controlling pain and inflammation.

The Takeaway

According to statistics, 10 percent of the world’s population suffers from spine-related issues at one point or another in their life. These spine care tips are designed to help you keep your back in good health throughout your life.

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