It’s fairly common knowledge that through the course of your day the weight of your body compresses the discs of the spine. Over time, this becomes more pronounced, and we see it in the reduction of height that older people experience. In fact, everyone- even younger people’s spinal cartilage becomes compressed throughout the course of each day. Though younger folks do not lose as much height as older individuals do- they still suffer from an effect that worsens with time- the loss of circulation through the cushioning cartilage discs between the vertebrae.
When spinal discs are compressed, the blood vessels that feed them also become compressed. When this happens, the body cannot properly nourish these important supporting structures. The body does the vast majority of its self-healing work during sleep- and any part of the body which does not receive good circulation will not be able to heal to the best of its ability. Fortunately, there are a few simple stretching exercises that will help to take the pressure off the intra-spinal discs and help them to receive the vital nutrients they need to heal at night.
3 Stretches to Nourish Your Spine Before Bed
Each of the following stretches should be done slowly. Your breathing should be slow to moderate in pace, and you should not push through any pain sensations. Speak to your chiropractor if any of these stretching exercises are too painful for you to perform.
For the Neck
Begin by sitting upright on the edge of your bed. PLEASE REMEMBER TO NOT EVER ROLL YOUR NECK. Lower your chin to your chest very slowly, and then return to an upright position looking forward. Breathe in slowly as you do this. This is one repetition. Your face should not turn to the side during this movement. Repeat this a total of three times and remember to breath slowly.
Next, rotate your head to the right while breathing in, breathe out while returning to center. Then rotate left while breathing in, and breathe out while returning to center. This is a single repetition. Repeat this a total of three times.
Finally, while keeping your face forward, tilt your head to the right while breathing in. Breathe out while returning to center. Then perform this same action in the opposite direction. This is a single repetition. Repeat this a total of three times.
For the Dorsal Spine
Sit with your feet beneath your buttocks, placing your hands on your thighs. Slowly, while breathing inward, slide your hands forward along the floor until your body is slightly declined- head down, and your arms are outstretched. Hold this position for some moments. While arching your back toward the ceiling and breathing out, slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this a total of three times.
For the Pectoral Region
Starting from the same position as the last stretch, lower your chest to the floor with your hands flat on the floor next to your chest. Straighten your legs out behind you. While breathing inward, slowly press down with your hands, lifting your head upward and arching your spine forward. Hold this position for a few moments. Then, while breathing out slowly, lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat this a total of three times.
These three stretches remove pressure from the most affected portions of your intra-spinal discs and allow blood flow to circulate through them. They will improve the health of your spine, reduce tension and allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
Carlson Chiropractic Center is a state of the art health and wellness chiropractic center in Joplin, Missouri. Our team of doctors maintain a strong focus on prevention and are dedicated to helping people achieve wellness objectives by treating neuromuscular complaints such as back, neck, joint, arm and leg pain. As one of the few centers in the area offering certified decompression treatments, we provide a surgery free option for herniated and bulging discs.