One of the most important things you can do to help strengthen your spine is exercise. This will not only strengthen your back muscles to prevent injuries, but it will improve your overall health. Strengthening your core, among other muscles, will keep your spine secure.
That being said, there are certain exercise techniques that can both strengthen one’s spine and relieve back pain. Each strengthening exercise is unique and provides its own positive effects. Those seeking relief from back pain should explore the following exercises with a doctor or physician before trying them: Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi.
Pilates exclusively focuses on aligning the spine and strengthening deep postural muscles by practicing neutral centering combined with steady breathing patterns. According to the American Council of Exercise, “Many people with chronic back pain have felt their aches diminish with regular Pilates sessions. While equipment-based Reformer sessions can be costly and group mat classes may not target your specific needs, many Pilates exercises can help realign your movement patterns to prevent and lessen common back pain.”
Some popular Pilates positions include the Swan, the Teaser, and the Dead Bug.
While performing these movements, be sure to keep breathing central and steady.
Yoga is a viable alternative to Pilates, as it still focuses on strengthening the core while maintaining peaceful breathing patterns. Harvard Health describes yoga as, “one of the more effective tools for helping soothe low back pain. The practice helps to stretch and strengthen muscles that support the back and spine, such as the paraspinal muscles that help you bend your spine, the multifidus muscles that stabilize your vertebrae, and the transverse abdominis in the abdomen, which also helps stabilize your spine.”
If proper form is not exercised during yoga, one can injure the spine. To avoid an injury during exercising, always start with a thorough warm-up session, follow proper directions, stay hydrated, and incorporate a cool-down session once finished.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art known to be practiced for defense training, physical health purposes, and mental health purposes. More specifically, the exercise technique boasts spine health benefits. According to Consumer Reports, “Tai chi combines slow, gentle movements with deep breathing and mental focus… It strengthens the muscles in your abdomen and pelvic area that are crucial to supporting the lower back; it improves your balance and flexibility; and it makes you more aware of your posture when you sit, stand, and walk.” Many consider Tai Chi as a form of moving meditation, meaning those who practice will also be expanding on mindfulness and reducing stress.
To maintain a healthy spine, consider incorporating some form of these exercises into your exercise routine. For more information on how to protect your spine, call Spine Solutions at (954) 983-3888.