Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taking Care of Your Spine

Taking proper care of your spine is one of the most important choices you can make for your health. Your spine is the centerline of your body and responsible for many tasks including holding up your head, ensuring limb movement, and housing your spinal cord--the brain's messenger.
Chiropractors know the importance of spinal health and the crucial role it plays in overall health and wellness. When your spine is balanced and functioning properly, you have helped to create your best scenario for optimal health.
As advocates of proactive healthcare, here are two simple stretches recommended by chiropractors that can help you keep your spine healthy. Try these after a long car ride, a day at the computer, or even after an invigorating workout like running.
Elongation Stretch
The following elongation stretch can help to limber the spine, relieve pressure on the lower back, and help provide blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Start with your hands and knees on the floor, then sit back so your bottom is sitting on your heels and your chest in on your knees. You can rest your forehead on the floor or on a small pillow. Inhale slowly while you expand your rib cage and then exhale slowly relaxing your rib cage. Concentrate on your breaths and the movement of your rib cage. Do not hold your breath. Try this for 5 to 10 deep breaths per day and work your way up to 15 to 20 deep breaths per day in this position.
Spine Roll
The spine roll helps to naturally decompress your discs and limber and massage your spine. You will want to do this stretch on an exercise mat or a soft carpeted surface. Start in a supine position (back on the floor) with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale first while in the supine position then exhale while you bring your knees into your chest. Inhale again while you lengthen your spine from your tailbone to the crown of your head. Exhale and lift your head to your knees, wrapping your arms around your knees. Then you can begin to gently rock back and forth, massaging your spine.
Therapeutic exercises like these and others can help keep your back healthy. Many chiropractors provide free classes on how to care for the spine and other general health matters. Chiropractors are whole body specialists with proactive treatment plans to help people live longer, healthier lives. To learn more about proper care for your spine, contact your local chiropractor for a class schedule or an appointment.

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