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The 411 on Stretching and Your Spine

By Brandi Goodman

Your spine needs proper care if it's going to remain in good condition. Sit slouched, lean to the side as you stand, sleep poorly, and engage in other bad habits and it will be difficult for your spine to recover. One of those healthy habits you should be doing is stretching. Stretching can greatly improve your spinal health and keep it flexible.

It Increases Your Range of Motion

If you never stretch your spine at all, it's bound to become stiff and sore. You won't be able to move as easily as you once did. Stretch regularly, however, and you can increase your range of motion and ensure your spine is up to the task of moving this way or that as needed. You need to keep your muscles strong and able to extend to their full ability. Fail to stretch as needed and your muscles will be short and stiff, unable to move the way you desire.

It Improves Stability

Stretching out your spine regularly can help with stability. If you want to remain steady and balanced in everything you do -- be it standing, biking, or engaging in any sort of activity -- then you'll need to stretch often. Failure to do so will make it easier to fall and even be unstable on your feet.

It Decreases Pain

An unbalanced body prone to falls and lacking a range of motion is much more likely to experience pain and discomfort. Stretch your spine regularly and you can decrease the pain you're feeling in your back especially. Lower back pain is a common complaint about many. Stretch out the area well and keep your spine healthy and you'll be far less likely to experience aches in this area. 

Stretches to Try

Lots of stretches exist to boost your spine's abilities. The child's pose is an easy option that also helps you relax. Get into a push-up position while on your knees. Sit back on your feet so that your back is in line with your arms that are still outstretched in front of you. It will really help stretch out your hips and spine.

Another option is the knee-to-chest. Lay on your back and simply bring one knee in, holding it with your hands. Hold for as long as you can and then return to the starting position. Bring the opposite knee back and hold for the same duration.

Keeping pain at bay is a big benefit of stretching. If you want your spine to remain healthy, able to move as intended, and properly keep you stable, then stretching is a necessary task you need to add to your daily to-do list.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

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