Spine mobility is more important than one might realize, especially for those with office jobs and sitting or standing for long periods of time. Staying in certain postures for long periods of time can cause muscles to become tight and cause decreased mobility of the spine. The body may feel restricted and muscles in the neck and lower back may compensate for this lack of motion, causing further tightness and pain. Incorrect postures over long periods of time can also cause more stresses to the vertebrae of the spine, increasing risk of osteoarthritis and disc herniations.
So how can we prevent these from occurring?
In general, it is good to increase mobility of the body throughout the day, whether it is standing up for short breaks during work, or moving to different positions throughout the day to increase mobility. For increasing mobility to an already stiff spine, here are some simple mobility exercises that can be done without any equipment at home:
1. Start in a quadruped position on both hands and knees touching the floor and hand directly under the shoulder.
2. Inhale and arch the back, pushing the belly towards the floor and gently tilting the head upwards towards the ceiling.
3. Exhale and round the back, pulling the belly away from the floor and gently tuck in the chin, forming a “C” shape.
3. Repeat 10 times, slowly through its full range of motion.
1. Start near the wall with arms straight perpendicular to the body at shoulder level, and kneeling with the knee closest to the wall bent at 90 degrees.
2. While keeping the hip glued to the wall, slowly rotate the arm towards the back, such as to create a straight line with both arms.
3. Slowly return to the starting position, and repeat 10 times.