Whether you injured your back recently, or are just looking to keep your spine and back healthy, there are a few daily exercises/stretches you could be doing daily. The good news is all of these stretches are relatively easy, require little effort, and won’t put a strain on your body. It’s important to practice preventative exercises - not only to keep from getting injured but to help keep any injuries from being too detrimental.
Knee to Chest
Lay on your back, on a flat surface, with both heels out on the ground. This will be as if you are laying flat in bed - without the pillow of course! Take a slow, deep breath, and bring your knee to your chest with both arms. Your hands should interlock around the knee, and bring your knee closer to your chest. As you do this, make sure you keep your other leg flat on the ground. Take deep breaths while stretching, and hold each knee to your leg for 30 seconds. We recommend we repeat this two times per leg, but feel free to repeat as needed.
Children might refer to this stretch as a “roly-poly,” but it is known to doctors as a back flexion. While laying on your back, once again on a flat services, bring both knees to your chest and bring your shoulders off the ground. You will want to form a little ball - think of the “roly poly” bug when you do this. You should feel a light stretch in your back.
Another one of our favorites, the cat stretch can help to stretch out your full spine. You might have encountered this in a yoga class, but get on all fours on the floor (like a cat). You will then alternate between arching your back for five seconds, then letting your back sag to the floor (forming a dip) for five seconds. Do this stretch 4-6 times through to begin to feel relaxed and ready to take on the day.
Chin to Chest
Having neck pain? While standing or sitting, look down until your chin touches your chest and hold for 30 seconds. This will help relieve any back neck pain. As with the knee to chest stretch, we recommend repeating this two times.
While these exercises will certainly help you keep a healthy back/spine, it won’t prevent any injury from happening in the future. Always remember to consult your physical therapist or primary care physician if you are worried about sustaining any back/spine injuries - we are here to help. At North Platte Physical Therapy
, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.