What is Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression is a very gentle distraction of the spine that allows for improved blood flow and helps nutrients move to the injured part of the spine. Spinal decompression is often chosen by individuals experiencing severe lower back pain as an alternative to surgery or pain meds, and it has a high success rate for the reduction of back and neck pain.
Many people love the experience of spinal decompression and wonder if they can do a version of it themselves at home with their exercise ball. While there is no replacement for professional spinal decompression administered by a chiropractor, there are certain exercises that can help stretch and relieve tension in your back in between your chiropractic appointments.
How to Find the Right Size Exercise Ball
An exercise ball, also known as a yoga ball, balance ball, or stability ball, is a great tool that many people love using for at-home exercises. Before doing any exercises with an exercise ball, make sure that you have found the right size for your body to ensure safety and effectiveness.
You can size your ball by sitting on it with your feet flat on the ground and your knees at a 90 degree angle. If your hips are level with your knees, your ball is the right size. If your hips are above your knees, the ball is too big. Likewise, if your hips fall below your knees, the ball is too small.
Exercise Ball Stretches for Spinal Decompression
Once you’ve found a ball that fits your body, you can start using it for spinal decompression stretches. Here are two very easy stretches that use your body weight, gravity, and your exercise ball to release tension and pain in your back:
1. Gentle Release:
Lie face down on your exercise ball, allowing your body to drape over and around the ball. Your arms should be out to the sides, as if you are hugging the ball. However, simply let them hang, loose, without any tension. Your head should also be hanging loose, your neck tension-free and the crown of your head toward the floor. Remain in this position for as long as is comfortable.
2. Gentle Arch:
Now, lie on your back on your exercise ball. Allow your back to slightly arch and drape your body over the ball in the reverse of the previous exercise. Help yourself into this position and go slowly to protect your spine. When coming out of this position, slowly roll your body forward, toward your feet, until you can safely use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself into a straight spine position.
Spine Strengthening Exercises
If your spine is healthy enough, you can use the exercise for spine and abdominal strengthening exercises as well. However, remember to always talk to your doctor before doing any stretches or exercises. It’s very important to make sure that your spine is healthy enough and to make sure you’re doing the right exercises and stretches for your particular situation.
Professional Spinal Decompression in the Dallas Metroplex
Professional spinal decompression is a great way to improve your overall spinal health. In addition to receiving regular chiropractic treatments, a professional chiropractor can suggest targeted at-home spinal decompression exercises that are right for your body.