4 Ways to Handle Spinal Decompression at Home
The spine is at the literal core of everything you do and is crucial to good health. Many of the vital functions of the body stem from the spine. It allows us to walk upright, supports your body, and facilitates movement. Our spine takes a beating every day while we slouch, twist, bend, lift things incorrectly, and even from the daily effects of gravity itself. Spinal decompression therapy alleviates the damages done to the spine by gently stretching it out, relieving spinal pressure and facilitating spinal healing. It’s also an effective way to improve your posture by repositioning the spine into the natural “S” curve. There are many ways to handle spinal decompression at home including daily use of zero gravity chairs.
What is Spinal Decompression?
Before we explore ways to handle spinal decompression at home, what is spinal decompression?
Spinal decompression is the gentle stretching of the spine to alleviate lower back pain and facilitate spinal healing. As the spine is stretched back out, pressure is released from discs and off the nerves along the body. This can be especially beneficial for those using spinal decompression at home to treat sciatica symptoms. Discs are able to rehydrate as oxygen and nutrients are transported throughout the body more efficiently due to improved circulation. Healing and supporting the spine is one the primary health benefits of zero gravity chairs.
Spinal decompression works treats the effects of gravity and daily wear and tear to alleviate pain, decrease muscle tension along the spine, treat sciatica symptoms, and improve sleep quality. Let’s examine 4 ways to handle spinal decompression at home:
- Spinal Decompression Exercises
- Spinal Decompression Stretches
- Zero Gravity Chair Benefits for Spinal Decompression
- At-Home Spinal Decompression Yoga
Spinal Decompression At Home Exercises
There are a number of simple exercises you can do to handle spinal decompression at home. Inserting these into your daily fitness routine will help to maintain your spine and keep your body at optimal physical health. Two of our favorites are:
This is great if you have a pull-up or chin-up bar in your home. If you don’t have one of these, you can use any bar so long as it is very sturdy and can withstand supporting your full weight without incident. Reach up and grab the bar firmly and start to relax your leg muscles gradually increasing the percentage of your body weight hanging from the bar. Once you’ve reached your comfort level, maintain this position for 10-30 seconds. Afterward, restore your feet to the ground or re-engage your muscles to support yourself once more. Relax for a minute then repeat this spinal decompression exercise 4-6 times each day for optimal results.
Foam Roller Back Bends
This spinal decompression exercise forces the upper back to bend by leveraging your body weight over a foam roller (or any similar padded item). Lying on your back, place the foam roller beneath you horizontally along your shoulder blades. Interlock your hands behind your head (similar to a sit-up position) to use them as a counterweight to the rest of your body and keep your hips on the floor. Try to keep your lumbar area in a neutral position as best you can. Arch your back as much as you can over the foam roller without flaring out your rib cage to get the full benefit of this exercise. You can continue this into more foam roller exercises by pushing with your legs to roll your back over the roller from the shoulders to the lower back intermixing short and long strokes. You may hear some popping in your back but that’s okay. As long as it isn’t painful, what you’re hearing is your spinal decompression exercise working!
Before jumping into exercises to handle spinal decompression at home, you’ll want to ensure you’ve stretched adequately to prevent injury. We’ve got you covered.
Spinal Decompression Stretches
Stretching is important before doing any exercise at home or at a gym. If you don’t stretch adequately you risk causing injury to your body. Here are a couple simple home spinal decompression stretches to get you limbered up and take care of your spine in the process:
This is the easiest stretch you can do while standing or even from the comfort of your zero gravity recliner. Standing or sitting up straight, bring your arms straight overhead and interlock your fingers. That’s all there is to it! This spinal decompression stretch helps take the weight off your shoulders and shoulder blades off your spine to allow it to gently decompress. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds as your comfort level allows and repeat as needed throughout your day.
Knees to Chest Stretch
If you’re comfortable lying on the floor, the knees to chest spinal decompression stretch is one you’ll want to try. Not altogether different from Child’s Pose in yoga, this inverted stretch takes the pressure off the knees you may experience in the traditional yoga position. Lie flat on your back and bring your knees up. Hold them using your arms and the floor will act as a counter pressure allowing the massage to gently stretch out.
Zero Gravity Chair Benefits for Spinal Decompression
Daily use of zero gravity chairs is another efficient way to handle spinal decompression at home. Designed by NASA, the zero gravity position elevates the legs above the heart level, evenly distributing weight along the body and reducing pressure on the spine. The reduced pressure facilitates faster healing and improved circulation throughout the body. Relaxing in the zero gravity position for just 20 minutes each day results in the same healing received from 8-10 hours of sleep. This makes using zero gravity chairs for back pain indispensable.
Aside from the neutral body position, the best zero gravity chairs for sciatica and lower back pain offer features such as massage and heat therapy. These features reduce muscle tension and painful spasms while keeping the body loose and relaxed. They’ve also been shown to improve your mood and relieve pain by causing your body to release endorphins.
Zero gravity chairs are more than just useful for spinal decompression at home. There are a number of activities to mix with zero gravity recliners for lower back pain.
At-Home Spinal Decompression Yoga
Last on our list of ways to handle spinal decompression at home is yoga. Very popular and adaptable to people of all ages and capabilities, yoga helps the body relax and the mind to focus. It even makes for an effective heart health self-care activity. Let’s look at two yoga poses for spinal decompression at home:
One of the most recognized yoga poses is also extremely beneficial for spinal decompression. This position stretches the back by elongating the spine as the chest rests on the thighs. On the floor with your knees under you, sit back on to your heels. Lower your entire upper body to the floor in front of you and stretch your arms out continuing the line of your body. Hold this position as you take a few very deep breaths. If you want to experience deeper breathing, widen your knees to press your chest further towards the floor.
The Cat-Cow yoga stretch is a two-posture position for spinal decompression that works all the vertebrae. Starting on your hands and knees with your head facing forward exhale deeply as you lower your chin to your collarbone, arch your back and bring in your stomach tightening your abdominal muscles. After staying here for a moment, breathe in a deep inhale as you bring your head upward and lower your spine gently into a backbend, finding your spine’s natural curvature limit. This helps with spinal decompression and strengthening back muscles to keep your body healthy. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times for optimal effect.
Lower back pain is a common ailment experienced by an estimated 80 percent of people at some point in their lifetime. Taking care of your spine is paramount to your overall bodily health as it ties in to so many different systems. Combine the right zero gravity chair and these listed methods to handle spinal compression at home and keep yourself feeling great.