Weekend Challenge: Lower Back Pain Reliever And Posture Improver

The spine is a central column that supports your entire body weight, with the lumbar vertebrae taking an exceptional load. So preserving your spine’s alignment is crucial for attaining proper posture and preventing crushed vertebrae.

The Lower Back Pain Reliever And Posture Improver is a stretch that has multiple benefits: it relieves tight abdominal muscles that can become weakened and shortened due to poor posture, stabilizes and stretches the vertebral facet joints to increase spinal mobility, and helps tone back muscles that weaken when you hunch forward over a keyboard, in front of a screen, and many other postural errors caused by prolonged sitting.

So I’m thrilled to share with you this excellent posture corrector. Let’s get started with one of my favorite stretches!

Why:

Your entire spine takes a lot of stress on any given day – twisting, bending, supporting your body weight, stabilizing your torso, and more. But the joints of the lumbar vertebrae, called facet joints, do the lion’s share of the support work and can become compressed. In addition, the lumbosacral joint, where the last lumbar vertebra (L5) joins the sacrum, is designed for mobility and rotation, making it prone to stiffness and misalignment.

The Lower Back Pain Reliever And Posture Improver works the lumbosacral and facet joints, stimulating and spreading them to bring relief from painful compression, which can occur from sitting or standing still for long periods.

Prolonged sitting, especially while hunched forward, harms more than your back. It can also weaken the abdominal muscles, which are part of the spinal flexors that attach to the front of the spine and enable you to bend forward as well as arch your lower back.

This simple stretch corrects all of those postural issues, spreading the vertebrae, stretching the abdominals, and actually making you feel taller right after you do it. Before we take a look at how to do this stretch, I’d like to take a moment to briefly review the importance of protecting your spine.

Be Kind To Your Spine

The importance of spinal health cannot be overemphasized. In fact, osteoporosis can lead to problems with the vertebrae, so exercising the deep muscles along the spinal column helps keep them aligned and strong. It’s important, though, to be mindful of how you bend and move during exercise. The first step is understanding how compression works.

The vertebrae can bend both forward and backward, but compression happens along the round front of the vertebrae. This part of the bone is called the body, and the outer ring of of the body is called the cortical rim. The spinal cord runs through the center of the vertebral bodies.

When you bend forward, it compresses the vertebral bodies together, pressing on the spongy disc that cushions each one. When you sustain a compression fracture, the body and/or cortical rim are damaged.

This is why bending forward and lifting heavy objects should be avoided if you don’t have strong bones, as should any extreme movement of the spine (i.e., twisting too far, bending and turning to pick up heavy objects, etc.).

Today’s exercise gently moves the vertebrae in the opposite direction, as you’ll soon see.

How:

It’s a good idea to do this exercise near a bed or couch in case you have trouble balancing while bending backward. Also, if you experience pain irradiating down your leg or anywhere else while you stretch, stop doing it.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the top of your hips toward the back.
  2. Gently push your pelvis forward and lean back slightly at the hips; hold for a moment and come back to an upright position. Repeat this one or two more times.
  3. Repeat step 2 again, but lean back a little further this time. Repeat two more times, leaning a little further back each time.
  4. For this third set, lean back as far as you comfortably can and lift your head and chest up toward the ceiling. It’s a subtle movement, but it will greatly enhance the stretch in your abdominal muscles. Repeat this one or two more times.

Care For Your Spine With Proper Exercise

With exercises like The Spine Strengthener (page 14), Mountain Pose To Chair Pose (page 31), Flying Snow Angels (page 45), and many more, your spine will remain decompressed with the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. Densercise™ has more than 50 moves specifically designed to increase bone density, targeting vulnerable areas of your skeleton including your vertebrae.

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Do you have a favorite spinal stretch you’d like to share with the community? Please feel free to post it in a comment below, or any other thoughts you have about this weekend’s challenge.

Enjoy the weekend!

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  1. Hugo Schmidt February 5, 2017, 11:13 am

    This weeks Lower Back pain reliever and posture improvement will also improve your gait and help prevent tripping and falling. I have been seeing a P.T. for this condition for 3 weeks and the improvement is amazing!
    Peace, Hugo

  2. Grateful Leper February 4, 2017, 9:38 am

    There is a Chi Gong stretch that I find very useful. Standing with feet about shoulder width apart, knees unbent, bring palms together, as in a prayer position, in front of the chest. Then separate the palms, sending one up toward the sky and the other palm down toward ground. Hold this position for a count of 5-10 seconds, breathing comfortably. Bring your hands back to the chest area and reverse direction. I do 5-7 sets of these. This opens up the spine and relieves pressure and tension. It’s also good to relieve minor indigestion! Can also be done in a sitting position, but standing is preferable.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 4, 2017, 10:42 am

      What a perfect companion to today’s stretch. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Heather February 4, 2017, 5:05 am

    I love a very similar exercise to the one above. I stand with my back to the wall, feet about 30cm away. I left both arms up, bent at the elbows, lean gently backwards till the tips of my fingers touch the wall, and gradually walk my hands down (palms against the wall) until I feel that’s far enough. Then I simply walk my hands back up till I can let go of the wall and stand straight. It feels safe since you have the support of the wall, is a good stretch, but I didn’t know how good until I read this link. I really appreciate this website!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 4, 2017, 8:46 am

      Thanks for sharing that stretch, Heather! That sounds like a good move for taking pressure off of your spine.

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