Decompress your spine with these elongation stretches
In our last post, we shared our top 3 Scoliosis-Friendly general body stretches that you could do without any equipment.
Now, even though we’re heading into summer, many of us are still spending a lot of time sitting – whether it’s working (at the office or continuing from home), studying in the last few weeks of school (yay!), driving on a [domestic] road trip, or watching allll the Netflix/Crave/PrimeVideo/Disney+/AppleTV….
Sitting upright for many hours means that gravity is continually exerting its downward force on us and our spines. So, if you feel like you need to strrreeettchhh, here are 5 options to promote spinal decompression and create more space to breathe.
For these exercises, you’ll need a Pull-Up Bar for home, and here are our two favourite suggestions:
*Please note: These are general recommendations and may not be suitable for everyone. If you’ve had spinal surgery (Harrington rods, Spinal Fusion, or Vertebral Body Tethering), experience segmental instability, have significant back pain, or have other conditions where hanging is contraindicated, these stretches may not be ideal for you. To discuss appropriate stretches, please contact your ScoliClinic Physiotherapist.
Semihanging from Pull-Up Bar
- This Perfect Pull-Up bar is one of our FAVES!
- Swing the bar down, and place your feet flat on the floor
- Keep your knees slightly bent
- Reach your pelvis away, so that your body is in line with your arms
- Think about lengthening your bottom away from your hands
- Breathe and expand your ribcage x 5 breaths
Modified Full Hanging in Door Frame
- Stand in a doorframe
- Hold onto the frame with your fingertips (make sure it’s sturdy!)
- Stand on the floor if you’re tall, or on a stool if you’re not-so-tall like me
- Gently bend your knees and take as much weight through your fingers as you can
- Similarly, the intention is to reach the pelvis away from the fingertips to create space in the spine
- Breath x 5 slow expansive breaths
Supported Hanging with Pull-Up Bar
- Leave your pull-up bar in the top position
- Place your feet on a chair
- Slowly lower your pelvis toward the ground, hinging at the hips
- Put as much or as little pressure through your feet to support you
- *Please note that this can be quite a strong stretch in the lower back, so move slowly
- Hold for 15-30 secs, breathing to expand your ribs.
from Sink Ledge
- No pull-up bar? No problem. Hold onto a sink ledge
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips
- Lengthen your trunk, relax pelvis away from your hands, opening shoulders towards the floor
- If your back is rounding, think about reaching your sit bones towards the wall behind you. You may need to bend your knees a bit more
Sitting Elongation at Wall
- This is another great ‘no-equipment’ option
- Sit at a chair close to the wall
- Reach your arms overhead, placing only fingertips on the wall (to activate your shoulder and core muscles more!)
- Keep your shoulders away from your ears
- Anchor your pelvis into the chair
- Inhale and lengthen the crown of your head up towards your fingers
- Focus on expanding your ribcage and elongating x 5 breaths
Again, these stretches above include general descriptions only and may need to be modified to meet your needs. If you have pain, please stop immediately and contact us.
As always, it’s important to consult a Scoliosis-Specific Physiotherapist who’s familiar with your condition and your spinal curve.
Along with supplying other Scoliosis Physio products, we offer two different options of Pull-Up Bars at The ScoliClinic. You can order them from amazon below, or purchase them in-person at our clinics.