Are you struggling with that nagging back pain? Is that shoulder pain limiting your mobility? Then a trip to the chiropractor is in order.
Over 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain.
Moreover, about 27 million of them receive chiropractic treatment. Though some cases require extensive care, others take only a couple of sessions for the pain to go away.
Regardless of the severity of your condition, complementing the treatments with chiropractic exercises at home is essential.
But what specific exercises can you do at home? Do you need to invest in any machines and equipment? Continue reading below as we look at some chiropractic exercises and how they supplement your treatment.
The Value of Chiropractic Routines
Studies reveal that exercising helps chiropractic treatments in many ways. It increases the effectiveness of the treatments. It also reduces the recurrence of the problem.
Moreover, it helps build self-reliance. This means helping rebuild your self-confidence in performing your daily activities without the fear of injuring yourself.
Furthermore, exercising offers long-term benefits. Certain exercises alongside spinal manipulation translate to functional improvement and lasting pain relief.
Stretching, for example, brings a lot of benefits to the table. Apart from reducing the risk of injury, stretching also helps the body supply nutrients to different muscle groups. Moreover, it speeds up recovery time in areas that are stiff or sore.
Furthermore, stretching increases your flexibility. It improves your blood circulation while raising your energy levels.
But before you perform any of the exercises below, you must first get a green light from your chiropractor. This is important especially if you are coming out of a spinal adjustment.
There are certain precautionary measures you need to consider. Otherwise, exercising may put to waste all the work your chiropractor did to your tissues and muscles.
Easy Home Chiropractic Exercises to Consider
The good thing about these home chiropractic exercises is that they do not require exercising equipment. Some only demand the use of a mat and some home furniture.
If you are undergoing treatment from reputable chiropractors like Soli Chiropractic, you can maximize its benefits through these 12 simple chiropractic exercises you can do at home:
1. Before Arising Exercise
Let’s kick off the list with an exercise before you arise in the morning. This exercise aims to stretch your thigh and back muscles. This helps you feel more comfortable as you transition from a lying position to a weight-bearing posture.
The first step is to pull your knees into your chest. Hold your position firmly and slowly count to 4. Return to your original lying position and repeat six times.
Thereafter, hold your right leg and put it behind your right knee. Make sure your right knee is in a straight position. Hold your position then slowly count to 4.
Like the first one, repeat the exercise six times before moving to your left leg. This will stretch your hamstring muscles.
After finishing with the left leg, slowly rise from the bed. Do so by rolling first to your side then rise using one elbow. Swing your legs to the side of the bed and push your body until you reach a sitting position.
Using your leg muscles, slowly stand from your sitting position.
2. Pelvic Tilt and Lift
This is a set of exercises that aims to tighten your abdomen. For the pelvic tilt, you can choose to do it while lying on your back or in a standing position.
The first step is to tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles. In case you are lying, make sure your back is flat against the surface. Contract your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly count to 4.
Relax those muscles while using the same 4-count. Repeat six times.
To perform the pelvic lift, lie on your back while flexing your knees. Make sure you plant your feet flat on the floor and as close to your buttocks as you can.
Tighten the lower abdomen and buttocks. Make sure your lower back is flat against the floor.
Raise your hips slowly up. Hold your position then slowly count to 4. Repeat 6 times then relax.
This exercise is challenging for some. If you are struggling to raise your hips, you can simply tighten your buttock, abdomen, and belly muscles. Slowly work your way until you can raise your hips.
3. Bar Hang
As the name implies, this exercise requires a pull-up bar. If you don’t have one at home, you can opt for a sturdy high bar that can carry your weight.
Extend your arms and hold the bar with both your hands. If you cannot reach the bar, you can tip-toe to extend your reach.
Slowly hang on the bar. Mind the slow transition as more of your bodyweight moves into the bar.
Hold your position for about 20 to 30 seconds. Do your best to relax while hanging. Make sure to take some deep breaths as you hang.
Perform this exercise two to three times a day. Do not perform this exercise in case you have any shoulder pains before the exercise.
4. Kitchen Sink Stretch
Another exercise that requires a little help from your home items is the kitchen sink stretch. This exercise targets your spine, just like the bar hand exercise.
Head on to the kitchen and stand in front of the sink. You can also find a sturdy surface if you do not feel like using the kitchen sink.
Firmly hold on to the sink’s surface while leaning back slowly. Continue leaning back until your elbows are straight. Once you reach this point, most of your weight must be all behind you.
Hold your position for about 20 to 30 seconds. Take several deep breaths while trying to relax your body while holding the position.
Perform this exercise two to three times a day.
5. Buttock Strengthening
Part of conditioning your spine is strengthening the muscles in your buttocks. Lie flat on your stomach while resting your chin on your hands.
Move your right leg and turn your foot outward. While tightening your buttocks, raise your right leg off the floor. Make sure to keep your right knee straight.
Hold your position and slowly count to 4. Thereafter, slowly bring down your leg. Repeat the process six times on your right leg before transferring to your left leg.
6. Spinal Trunk Rotation
The trunk rotation exercise helps improve the core strength of your spine. It mainly targets your trunk muscles.
To start the exercise, lie on your back, taking a supine position. Bend your knees while keeping both your feet flat on the floor. As for your upper body, make sure to hold it firmly against the floor.
Stretch both your arms outward and press them into the floor. This will provide the balance you need. As you plant your arms on the floor, begin tightening your abdominal muscles.
Rotate your knees slowly to one side. As you are doing this, make sure your feet remain on the floor as they shift. Hold your position to about 5 seconds then tighten your abdominal muscles as you move your legs to the other side.
Hold the position for 5 seconds. Make sure that to breath normally as you go through the motions.
7. Abdominal Strengthening
Earlier, we tackled an exercise that tightens the abdomen. Now, we move to strengthen it. Start by lying on your back while bending your knees. Again, make sure both your feet are flat against the floor.
You have two options when it comes to the position of your hands. You can put your hands behind your neck for additional support. You can also place your arms over your chest.
Make sure that your spine is flat against the floor as you raise your shoulders off the floor. Perform this motion by contracting your abdominal muscles.
Your goal is to feel your abdominal muscles as they tighten. Now raise your shoulders slowly upward. Again, you need to feel those muscles tighten.
Thereafter, relax your abdominal muscles then bring down your shoulders to the floor. A good number of repetitions to target are around 50 to 75.
If you are receiving treatment for your tight neck or problematic hips, the Padahastasana is the perfect exercise for you. To start this off, make sure to take off your shoes. Position your feet apart at hip-distance.
Slowly bend your body forward until your arms touch the floor. It is ok if you cannot reach the floor. Just extend as much as you can without straining your back.
After extending your arms, slowly bend your knees. Place your hands under your feet and lift the balls of your feet. You want the balls of your feet to rest on your palms that are facing up.
You want your toes to slide into the creases of your wrist. Use the balls of your feet to press into your palms. While doing so, take three deep breaths as you relax your head.
9. Downward-Facing Dog
This particular exercise helps in opening up your shoulders and anterior chest wall. People who have problems in these areas are the ones who are always in front of their gadgets and computers.
Start by positioning your body on all fours. Make sure to tuck your toes as you lift your hips. Your goal is to have your hip bones reaching as high as you can.
Now reach your heels back into the mat. As you do this, make sure your heels don’t plank on the ground. Extend your neck by dropping your head.
See to it that your wrist creases remain parallel to your mat’s front edge portion. You will likely feel some pressure on your wrists. To reduce the pressure, press into your thumbs’ and forefingers’ knuckles.
While in this position, take a minimum of three deep breaths before releasing your pose.
The Cat-Cow exercise is one that helps promote spinal awareness. It aims to help improve your posture.
Like the downward-facing door, commence on all fours. Make sure to stack your hips over your knees. As for your shoulders, stack them over your wrists.
Look down and focus your eyes in front of your fingers. From your head down to your tailbone, lengthen your body. Now you are in position for the “cat” phase.
Curl your spine upward using the power of your abdomens. Make sure to tuck your tailbone as you make the curl and exhale. The position you are going for is similar to that of a Halloween cat.
Extend your neck while letting your chin to go down and inside. You want your chin to reach your chest area. Meanwhile, your ears should come down along your biceps.
For the “cow” phase, scoop your pelvis until your belly drops down. You want your belly to reach close to the floor as you can while you inhale.
Moreover, you need to broaden the position of your shoulder blades. You must move them away from your ears. Do so as you lift your chest and chin while gazing upward.
Interchange the two phases until the stress on your neck and head lessens.
11. Chin Tuck
If you are working at home and you need to take a break, squeeze in the chin tuck exercise. Like the cat-cow, this exercise also develops spinal awareness. It also strengthens your neck muscles.
Take your chair and sit up straight and tall. Your chin must be parallel to the floor.
Draw your chin and head slowly back. Do this without tilting your head. Your goal is to feel the back of your neck stretching.
Now slowly raise your head as if you are pulling the base away from your neck. Hold this position while relaxing your jaw. Take three deep breaths the release your chin forward.
12. Bow Pose
Last but not least is the bow pose. This exercise will help correct your slouching shoulders.
Lie flat on the floor on your belly. Position your hands on your sides with your chin on the floor. Bend your knees until your heels reach close to your buttocks.
Use both your hands to reach and grab the outer portion of your ankles. Inhale while lifting your heels upwards.
You want your upper torso, thighs, and chest to elevate from the mat.
Hold this position as you take 10 deep breaths. Exhale as you lower your entire body to the ground.
Discover New Ways to Improve Your Body
Through these simple chiropractic exercises, you can increase the gains of your chiropractic treatments. As for your other health concerns, you should continue learning about different ways to improve your body.
We invite you to check our blog posts on health and wellness. We provide tips and solutions that will help you live a healthier and longer life.