Full range of motion is very important to your spines health. If the joints and muscles are not functioning properly they may affect the range of motion. Reduced range of motion has been associated with arthritis and many other spinal diseases.
The structure of the spine, consisting of vertebrae and discs allows you to bend, turn, twist and stretch. Your spine is made to MOVE! So if you want it to be healthy you have to move it.
So HOW do we do this?
Starting with the lumbar spine:
• Bend forward as if you were trying to touch your toes. Round your spine and relax your head and neck. Soften the knees. Do not bounce or force the position. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Roll up through the spine slowly leaving your head to come up last.
• Now bend backwards from the standing position while placing your hands on your lower back for support and looking upwards to the ceiling. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Again recover slowly.
• Place your hands down at your sides and bend to the left while sliding the left hand towards the left knee. Hold this position for 5 – 10 seconds. (Try to keep facing forward without twisting or rotating the spine).
• Now bend towards the right side, sliding your hand down your leg towards the right knee. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds.
• Place your hands together in front of you holding the wrists as a lever and twist as far as you can to the left pulling on the right wrist. Remember not to bounce to force yourself further. Hold this position for 5 – 10 seconds.
• Come back to standing straight and twist all the way to the right. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds.
Now do the cervical spine (Hold each position for 5 – 10 seconds):
• Drop your head forward, relaxed taking the chin to the chest.
• Bend the neck backwards looking up to the ceiling – if this position causes dizziness stop and contact your chiropractor.
• Bend your neck sideways to the left as if you are trying to put your ear on your shoulder. Try not to twist while doing this.
• Bend your neck sideways to the right, trying to put your ear on your shoulder.
• Turn your head to the left as far as you can taking the chin over the left shoulder – again if this causes dizziness contact your chiropractor.
• Repeat the head turning over the right shoulder.
Congratulations! You have now taken your spine through a full range of motion. This is a great exercise to teach your children so they can grow up practicing proper spinal hygiene.
To see a demonstration of this, go to our videos, or click on this link: http://www.fourwayschiro.co.za/videos/spinal-hygiene-video-1-basic-range-of-motion