spine care

SPINE CARE: The time to exercise your spine

2012-10-17T16:38:00Z SPINE CARE: The time to exercise your spineTricia Despres Get Healthy Contibutor nwitimes.com
October 17, 2012 4:38 pm  • 

The solution to your back problem just might not need to be solved via a complicated surgery or a list of over-the-counter medications. Rather, a prescription for pure and healthy living can often be the answer to your spinal woes.

Indeed, diet and exercise can go a long way.

“In order to achieve a healthy spine, it is truly achieved through a full body, well-rounded workout,” explains Kelly Langan, a physical therapist at ATI Physical Therapy in Valparaiso. “Overall, the key is to be safe when exercising by always utilizing proper body mechanics and performing exercises within your own personal capabilities. Not only are core and abdominal stabilization exercises crucial, such as Swiss ball exercises, but also lower extremity strengthening exercises. The hips, quads, and even ankles should all be strengthened. Upper body activities that focus on the postural musculature are also an important aspect of maintaining a healthy spine.”

Need some ideas of types of exercises that will promote your spinal health?

SWIMMING - Much has been said about the benefits swimming can have on the entire body. “Just walking back and forth against the resistance of the water in the pool is going to help you strengthen your core,” explains Dr. Nitin Khanna, partner at Spine Care Specialists in Munster.

PILATES – A focus on stretching of the core is going to work wonders when it comes to your spine. “Performing Pilates on a firm mat is going to help you stretch and strengthen those core muscles,” Dr. Khanna adds. “It can often take as little as ten to fifteen minutes a day to get those core muscles in optimal shape.”

WALKING – Who knew a walk around the block could have so many benefits? Indeed, a brisk walk can provide oxygen to all the areas of your body, including your spinal region.

STRETCHES – Take a moment every day and stretch! A simple knee to chest stretch can work wonders. To do so, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it to your chest and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat each stretch two to three times—preferably once in the morning and once at night.

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