Most spinal problems are related to imbalances in the body’s musculoskeletal framework.  A well-rounded spinal exercise program can help to heal and maintain your musculoskeletal system, which in turn allows for better overall body function and performance.

Chronically tense muscles can trigger a cascade of physiological effects which may lead to all sorts of spinal-related conditions.  Mental stress can cause tension in the muscles of the neck area, and this rigidity diminishes blood and oxygen circulation to the nearby tissues.  The result:  Your muscles become more brittle and susceptible to sprain/strain injuries.

When the neck area is tense (which is not an uncommon occurrence, seeing as though most of us sit at a desk all day), the mid and lower back areas can become involved.  For example, when one shoulder sags, the low back and hip areas will compensate and cause the low back to become tense and stiff.  Of course, the low back can be injured or become stiff all by itself after lifting or bending if we are not currently following a proper spinal exercise program.

 Here are The 3 Keys to a Successful Spinal Exercise Program:

  1. Strength Train.  Muscle weakness or laxity can put unnatural demands on the ligaments and tissues of your spine, causing damage to discs and spinal hinges or facets.  For individuals under 45 years of age, higher weight and lower repetitions should work just fine.  For individuals over 45, it is best to perform lesser weight with and higher repetitions.
  2. Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. Activities that include increasing your heart rate and promoting blood flow help to promote muscular relaxation and flexibility.  Examples include yoga, jogging, and walking.  These activities are most fun when done with a partner and can be done at a “conversational pace”.
  3. Perform activities which require fine motor movements. Dancing, sewing, and playing basketball are just a few examples of activities which include fine motor movements.  These activities are important because they address the neurological portion of your spine by reinforcing a healthy and coordinated body position.

LASTLY…Fear of injury and pain often cause us to stop moving.  However, immobility causes more pain and risk of injury.  We can cancel out pain and injury by learning how to move and exercise regularly in ways which heal, restore, and maintain the health of our muscles and bones, as well as improving our overall well-being.