"A Man is as young as his spinal column!" This genuine quote from Joseph H Pilates tells how important is the spine health for us human being. Spine is one of the most important parts that support our body. At times there comes a condition in many people where they start experiencing back stiffness, back pain, neck pain etc. All these symptoms mark a problem in the spinal column. Spinal compression is one of the medical conditions which may generate various such symptoms in a person. There are some specific exercises which can treat spinal compression at home. In this article we will know about some such ways of spinal decompression at home or some of the beneficial therapies, devices and exercises for decompression of spine. Hope you find it beneficial.
Spinal Decompression at Home: An Overview
A condition that is characterized by excessive strain on the disks serving as cushions in between the vertebrae of the spine, and which can generate symptoms like back pain, stiffness of the back, cause various nerve issues affecting both the emotional and cognitive processes; is known as spinal compression. Relieving pain, stiffness and other symptoms of spinal compression at home requires decompressing the spine by slightly pulling the vertebrae apart. This spinal decompression is to be done in a way that pressure is relieved from the discs present between the vertebrae.
Some physiotherapists and various medical professionals believe that spinal compression and the symptoms can be treated with some specific exercises that actually aid in decompressing the disks of the spine and alleviate the symptoms associated with the spinal compression. Though there are many exercises specifically prescribed for eradicating symptoms of spinal compression can be done at home without any supervision, there are also some exercises which require a supervision of an expert physiotherapist.
Here, in this article we will discuss about some exercises, stretches and also talk about some spinal decompression devices that would prove beneficial for you in reducing the symptoms of spinal compression.
However, be very much noted that you must consult with your doctor before starting any spinal decompression exercise or stretch.
Effective Spinal Decompression Therapy at Home
There are many types of exercises that prove effective in the spinal decompression therapy done at home. Before diving in to the exercises, we will know about some therapies that can be included under spinal decompression therapy at home.
In this section we will talk about some therapies that help in decompression of the spine.
Inversion Therapy to Decompress Spine at Home:
Inversion therapy is known to be one of the most simple and effective therapies for spinal decompression at home. Inversion therapy done on table or with the use of any other device; provides gravity based stretching all through the spine and helps in spinal decompression. However, it must be noted that if not done correctly inversion therapy can be dangerous. Anyone with any health issues like blood pressure issue, circulatory problems, heart diseases etc must consult with his or her physician before going for the inversion therapy for spinal decompression at home.
Pressure Change Therapy to Decompress the Spine at Home:
One more therapy that works well in spinal decompression at home is known to be "pressure change therapy".
As per the spinal research, the fluid movies in to various parts of the discs when the flexed postures are altered with arched or extended ones. Genuinely taking the lumbar spine from one extreme to the other extreme couples decompression with compression and brings about steep alternating pressures within the discs. Fluid is circulated through various parts of the discs as the spinal segments alternately pull apart and pinch together.
Pressure change therapy for spinal decompression at home can be done using an equipment known as Back Block (we will talk about it in our later part). The therapy involves going from lying draped passively backwards over a Back Block so as to induce negative discal pressures to bringing the knees to the chin for creating positive discal pressures. With this end-of-range spinal movement, the nutrients get deeper in to the heart of the disc and also at the same time eliminate waste products.
Devices That Can be Used for Spinal Decompression at Home
Back pain or stiffness of the back due to spinal compression can be irritating at times. If you are looking for some best ways of spinal decompression at home then we must let you know about the spinal decompression machines. Spinal decompression can be done effectively at home via home devices specially built for spinal decompression. Here we will talk about three top home spinal decompression devices that would be helpful for you in decompressing a compressed spine at home.
Inversion Table for Spinal Decompression at Home:
An inversion table is the device that provides spinal decompression starting from 15% inversion and is known to bring quick and immediate relief from back pain, neck pain and hip pain at home. It is pretty effective for various symptoms of spinal compression and various conditions like pinched nerves, bulging discs, sciatica, herniated disc etc.
The Nubax Spinal Decompression Device:
This is one piece of equipment effective in reliving symptoms of spinal compression, at home. It is in fact a brand new device that can be used to do effective and safe decompression exercise at home.
True Back Traction Device for Spinal Decompression at Home:
One more wonderful device for decompression of spine is the True Back Traction Device. This is actually a small hunk of solid plastic that takes no space to store it and there is nothing in it to break or go wrong and also none of its part would ever require replacing. It has a simple design that supports your body weight and generates pressure to the muscles on each side of the side while working on it lying over it. The pressure created allows the muscles to completely relax and thus aids in improving the blood circulation. This decompresses the spine and you get fair relief from various symptoms of spinal compression.
The Nubax Trio Device for Spinal Decompression at Home:
Nubax Trio is a small and portable spinal decompression machine which is ideal for you if you do not have enough space in your room to spare. It works well for middle and lower back pain.
The Back Block Device to Decompress Spine at Home:
Earlier we talked about the spinal decompression device which can help in reliving symptoms of back pain, stiffness of back etc due to spinal compression at home. It works on the basis of pressure change therapy of spinal decompression where it stretches out the strong psoas muscles at the front area of the hips, stretches the anterior longitudinal ligament down the front of the spine etc. It exerts traction on the spinal nerves so as to free them from adhesions.
Exercises for Spinal Decompression at Home
Here in this section we will actually look at some of the most effective exercises, stretches or yoga poses for decompression of spine. Hope doing these exercises regularly in a proper manner would help you improve the symptoms in spinal compression.
Toe Touch Exercise for Spinal Decompression at Home: Toe touches are effective stretching exercise and involves expanding the spinal canal and relieving the pain of a pinched nerve. Below are the steps to do the Toe touch that can help decompress the spine at home.
- Keeping your legs straight in front of you, sit on the floor at first.
- Now, slowly bend forward your lower back and try to touch your toes.
- Make sure you are not forcing yourself to touch your toes in case you find it very uncomfortable.
- With this, you must be feeling a nice stretch and expansion in your lower back as well as a stretch could be felt in the hamstrings.
- Repeat this stretch for 5 times so as to help relieve your back pain or other symptoms of spinal compression.
Broom Bench Press Exercise to Decompress Spine at Home: This is another spinal decompression exercise that helps in relieving back pain at home. Go through the following steps to do the exercise:
- At first, lie on your back holding a broom over your body like you are beginning a bench press.
- Make sure while doing this your arms should be fully extended towards the ceiling. Your hands must be shoulder width apart while doing this.
- Now, slowly bring the broom downwards close to your chest and just before resting over the chest, raise it up as if your arms get a stretch.
- Repeat this movement for about 15 times to get relief from back pain and back stiffness in spinal compression.
Side Bending Exercise to Decompress the Spine at Home: Side bend is one more exercise that helps in spinal decompression at home. Below are the steps to do this exercise:
- At first, stand with your hands on your hips and keep your back straight.
- Now, slowly bend to the side while keeping your back absolutely straight.
- Bend as much as possible or until you feel uncomfortable.
- Hold this position and breathe in to the stretch, letting your back expand and the pressure to be released from your spine.
- Finally return to the starting position and repeat the same in the other side.
Cat Stretch Exercise for Spinal Decompression at Home: Cat stretch is one such stretch that might help in relieving pressure on the spinal discs, especially those in the lumbar region of the spine. Read below to know about the steps for doing cat stretch.
- Position yourself on your knees and palms, with your head facing forward.
- Raise your lower back by tightening your abdominal muscles.
- Hold the posture for at least 15 to 20 seconds and then relax your abdominal muscles to lower your back to reach the starting position.
Back Arch Exercise for Decompression of the Spine at Home: One more exercise that aids in spinal decompression at home is back arch. It serves to elongate the lower spine and relieve compression of the lumbar disc in the spine. Following are the steps to do this exercise at home.
- Start the pose by lying on our back on a yoga mat.
- Next, clasping your hands behind your knees and pulling your knees up to your chest; breathe deeply in to your chest.
- Here, your hips should be at least a few inches off the mat.
- Lift your head in a way that it does not touch the mat.
- Here, count to seven and then return to the starting position.
- Go for 10 such repetitions at least one time on a daily basis.
Child's Pose Exercise for Spinal Decompression at Home: Child's pose is a simple yoga pose that can be an effective spinal decompression exercise. It stretches the spine by elongating the lower body along the natural curves of the thigh muscles. Below are the steps to do child's pose.
- Start the pose by resting on your knees on a yoga mat.
- Then, lower your head to the floor with your arms tucked beside the legs and pointing away from the head.
- Next, gently pull your upper body forward so as to enhance the stretch of the lower spine.
- Hold this pose for about 15 seconds and then release the stretch.
Ways to Use Back Block for Spinal Decompression at Home
We already talked about the Back Block and the pressure change therapy of spinal decompression using a Back Block. Here we will mention some of the steps of the therapy using a Back Block that would be beneficial for you in relieving the symptoms of spinal compression.
STEP 1: Spinal decompression using the Back Block under your bottom for one minute.
- At first, Lie down on your back on the floor.
- Then, lift your bottom and slide Back Block on its flat side under your sacrum ( hard flat bone present at the base of the spine with two dimples on its either side.)
- Make sure you are positioning the block in a proper way on your bottom and not on your lower back. This must feel comfortable.
- Now, slightly straighten your legs one at a time by sliding each of your heel along the floor and then relax.
- Keep in mind that you are not lifting your heels off the ground in order to straighten out your legs. Also be sure that you are not placing your heels together.
- You can feel a sensation of agreeable discomfort here in your lower back.
- Relax and let go the sensation.
STEP 2: Spinal decompression by lying draped backwards for one minute
- This gently opens out the lower back and helps you provide fine relaxation from the jammed lower vertebrae of the spine.
- You simply need to lie passively backwards on the Back Block for a minute.
- It is simple and pretty effective!
Follow-up Back Block Exercises to Decompress the Spine at Home!
There are some exercises to be done following the exercises done using a Back Block. This makes a complete set of workout for spinal decompression. Below we have listed couple of such exercises that follows the steps after the Back Block exercises mentioned above. You must continue with these exercises for spinal decompression if you have tried the exercises using the block.
- The Knees Rocking: This is one simple exercise where you need to simply rock your knees to your chest and stay for few seconds. This gives enough relief in spinal compression. You can rock your knees gently either by holding behind your knees or by holding on the top of each knee.
- The Reverse curl ups: The reverse curl ups is one more exercise that must follow the exercises done using Back Block. This is a low abdominal exercise which can be done after the knees rocking. Here you need to perform 15 knees-to-chest reverse curl ups in one minute.
It must be noted that Back Block exercises and these reverse curl ups must be balanced in a proper way for appropriate results in spinal decompression.
So, above we talked about some of the beneficial exercises, about some spinal decompression devices etc that works well in decompressing the spine at home. Hope you must have found it beneficial for you.
They say, "He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope has everything." If you are suffering from irritating back pain due to spinal compression and are losing your hope down, try to perform these spinal decompression exercises to relieve your symptoms of spinal compression and enjoy your daily activities to your best. However, make sure you consult your physician or your physiotherapist before performing any of the exercise mentioned here.