Do you always feel like the weight of the world is pulling down on you?
While you might be under stress because life is like that, gravity is literally pulling down on you at all times. We appreciate gravity’s help with keeping us on the earth, but our spines may beg to differ.
Spinal compression could be the cause of your back pain.
Great news, though! Spinal decompression can alleviate some of that pain, and you can do it right at home. Let’s chat.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression stretches your spine to bring space in between your vertebrae to alleviate stress on your discs and nerves within your spinal column.
Gravity is constantly compressing our spinal column and can lead to lots of pain.
Rather than suffer through it, you can find much-needed pain relief if you decompress your spine using some exercises.
It’s time to take some pressure off the discs in your spine and breathe a sigh of relief.
Is Spinal Decompression for Me?
Excellent question, and as always, we have your answers.
Before starting spinal decompression, you must speak to your doctor to ensure that it is safe. While it will bring relief for some, certain conditions/injuries should avoid spinal decompression.
If you suffer from sciatica, a bulging or herniated disc, have degenerative disc disease, nerve issues, or overly tight muscles, decompressing your spine may be just the thing to help you.
Some benefits include relief of tight muscles, alleviating pressure on discs in the spine, increasing blood flow, and helping to straighten your spine.
We can’t stress enough that you need to consult your physician before doing anything with your spine, even if you suffer from the conditions above.
While some people might benefit, you might need to avoid spinal decompression if there is another underlying cause to the conditions we mentioned.
Do not decompress your spine if you suffer from fractures, tumors, osteoporosis, degenerate joint disease, joint pain, abdominal aortic aneurysm (blood clot in the main artery in the stomach area), muscle spasms, discogenic pain, or any spinal nerve impingement.
In addition, if you have ever had spinal fusion surgery or artificial disc replacement surgery, you probably aren’t a candidate for spinal decompression.
However, it’s vital to check with your doctor if you have any of these conditions as there might be certain times where it would be ok. Only your doctor can tell you that, though.
In general, the conditions we just listed are not recommended for spinal decompression.
Spinal Decompression Exercises
Once you receive the go-ahead from your doctor to decompress your spine, shout hooray and then get to work on bringing some relief to your spine.
There are several exercises that you can do right at home to alleviate back pain. Let’s take a look at these spinal decompression exercises.
Grab that pull-up bar, people! Are you running for the hills? Don’t worry. We aren’t going to make you do any pull-ups this time.
Instead, place your hands on the bar about shoulder-width apart. Lift your feet off the ground and hang with all of your weight for thirty seconds.
This spine decompression exercise is easy and will bring much-needed relief.
Now, this sounds delightful. We are here to say that it is, and it’s straightforward to do.
Simply start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms overhead and press your hands together.
Stretch towards the ceiling as much as you can, feeling the stretch through the spine as you do.
Hold that position for thirty seconds and then release. Feel better?
Where are our yoga fans? You might know of this stretch if you are a yoga regular. If not, we are here to teach you.
Begin by kneeling with your glutes resting on your heels and your knees slightly apart. Reach forward with your hands and arms and bring your torso down to the floor.
Hold this stretch for thirty seconds and then release. If you want to hold it longer, go for it.
This is an excellent stretch for spinal decompression and it stretches your glutes and hips as well.
Find that inner animal because it’s time to relieve back pain with the cat-cow stretch.
To start, you need to be on your hands and knees with a flat back. This stretch is performed two ways. Ensure your hips and knees are at a 90-degree angle.
Now that you are in position, arch your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold that position for about five to ten seconds.
Now reverse it all. Round your back and pull your back towards the ceiling and pull in your abdominal muscles.
Again, hold that position for about five to ten seconds. Keep alternating these movements about ten to twenty times to get some good spinal decompression.
Knees to Chest
Ya’ll, it’s really just that simple. Lying on your back, pull your knees to the chest while wrapping your arms around the legs.
Pull your knees to your chest as much as you can and feel the stretch through the spine.
We told you these would help your back pain, right?
Spending a lot of time in a chair might be one of the reasons for our back pain. The good news is that we can use the chair to our advantage with this stretch.
Using the chair to decompress your spine, sit in the chair and lean forward, hinging from the hip. Try to lower your torso all of the way between your knees if you can.
As you keep your lower back in place, this spinal decompression exercise is simple and effective.
Exercise Ball Stretch
Have you ever thought about hugging an exercise ball? No?
Well, now is the time for some epic spinal decompression while hugging an exercise ball. Lie on your exercise ball on your belly.
Make sure that your lower back is positioned on top of the ball. Allow your arms and legs to wrap around the ball.
You will feel the stretch through your lower back, and it will be delightful. Use your fingers and feet as you balance on the ball.
Face Down Hip Hinge
Another simple yet effective spinal decompression exercise is to do a hip hinge on a bed or sofa.
Lying face down on the couch or bed allow your legs to hang off the end. As you allow your body to relax, you will feel the stretch through your spine.
You may have tried an inversion table before if you have back pain. This is an excellent way for spinal decompression if you have access to one.
You force the spine to stretch and let gravity work for you instead of against you by hanging upside down.
If you have ever tried an inversion table and want to purchase one for yourself, check out some of the best options we found.
Science Likes Spinal Decompression
Many studies have been done about how spinal decompression helps lower back pain and is effective for disc generation disease.
One study performed spinal decompression on fifteen participants. It found that those people had a much lower disc herniation index than those who did not use spinal decompression as a therapy.
This helps prove that spinal decompression can assist in relieving the pressure on the discs in your back.
Another study that focused on comparing traction vs. spinal decompression found significant improvement in the group that used spinal decompression in their lower back pain.
Not only that, they concluded that spinal decompression was an excellent therapy without complications as long as your physician approves it beforehand.
Spinal Decompression Wins
It’s time to stop hurting and start relieving your pain right at home. Using some simple exercises or an inversion table is an effective way to alleviate the pressure on your spine.
There is a way that you can fight the pressure that gravity puts on your spine. Counteract that pressure with exercises that decompress your spine and provide much-needed space between the vertebrae.
Embrace the benefits of increased blood flow and stretching tight muscles too. The benefits are here, and it’s up to you to achieve them right from home.
Now hang on to that pull-up bar, get into the child’s pose, hug your exercise ball, or maybe do all three.
There is no limit to the amount of stretching you can do to decompress the spine. Now happy stretching!
Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.