Our spine is one of the delicate organs of the nervous system, as it protects the central nervous system of human body, as well as the main support for the body to stay upright. It comprises of small bones placed one over the other which provides flexibility for movement. The upper part of the spine is terminated in the skull. This region where the spine is attached to the skull is called the cervical region or neck.
Pain in the neck or cervical pain is found very often in the entire world. It can be cured or treated with various techniques including medicines, surgery, and physiotherapy, depending on the nature and severity of the pain. Decompression of cervical spine is one of the techniques which is done through exercises (without medicines or surgery).
The best part of such exercises is, these can be individually done at home with ease. However, before you start doing exercise you must learn how to do it correctly. Let us guide you through, how to decompress cervical spine at home.
What Is Decompression?
The Cervical region contains the most sensitive part of our body, the spinal cord. The spinal cord is connected to the brain and is responsible for collecting data from the brain sending it to various organs of your body. The path from where this spinal cord passes through the cervical region sometimes gets narrow, due to which the cord passing through it, may start malfunctioning.
It also results in pain in your neck. This is also called compression of the cervical region. Other symptoms of compression may be, the stiffness of the neck, lesser ability to move around the neck freely, difficulty in walking and itchy arms. Decompression is a method used to reduce the effects of compression of the cervical region. Here are some exercises through which you can decompress your cervical spine at your own.
Exercise For Pressurized Lumbar Region
Sit or lay down bending your knees and elbows on the floor. Tighten your stomach, while keeping the head straight. Raise up your body slowly (the lower back region). This is called cat stretch exercise. Hold in this position for 15-20 seconds and then retain your former position. Repeat for 10-15 times and do at least three sets in a session. This exercise is very useful for the pressurized lumbar region.
Exercise For Spine Stretch
Sit on the floor by bending your knees. Position your arms alongside the legs. Slowly bend down your head with your hands in the opposite direction of your head. Now move your upper body forward so that your lower spinal region will feel a stretch. This is called the Child Pose exercise.
Hold in this position for 15-20 seconds and come back to original position. Repeat for 10-15 times and do at least three sets in a session.
Back Arch Exercise – For Lumbar Region Decompression
Holding your peculiar position on the floor with your face up, take a long breath and clasp your hands on knees. Now lift up the knees slowly towards the chest with the hips going off the floor. Simultaneously lift your head also. Hold in this position for 15-20 seconds and sustain your initial position. Repeat the exercise for at least 10-15 times and do at least three sets in a session.
Equipment / Devices For Decompression At Home
There are numerous devices available in the market which can be used to decompress your cervical spine at home. Some of these are:
Traction Device – Very useful device that improves blood circulation and releases pressure from the spine.
Inversion Table – Very good device for decompression of spine. It uses your force of gravity coupled with the body weight to release the pressure on the spine.
Foam Roller – Not a very scientific device but reasonably useful, especially in case of sciatica problem.
Decompression While Asleep
The way or posture of your body, especially the neck, while sleeping, is very important; rather critical in your endeavor to decompress your spine. So, select the correct pillow and mattress for your sleep time. The correct pillow is one that rests your neck without any stress on your cervical spine and keeps your body straight.
While lying on the mattress, if your spine remains in the original shape and curve, the mattress you are sleeping on, is correct. The pillow and the mattress are both very important tools for helping your spine to remain in original shape and curve thus avoiding the compression of it. Equally important are these two items, when you are suffering from spinal compression and trying to decompress it.
Although the exercises and methods for decompression of spine at home are very useful there might be some cases where we do not recommend it, such as in case of pregnancy, fractured bone or any other spine-related disorder.
It is strongly recommended to stay in touch with your physiotherapist during your decompression exercises to avoid any backlash or possible injury or complication.
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