Spine Health

By Osteopath Ella Meehan

You’re as young as your spine feels!

5 tips on how to minimise pain and keep the spine feeling mobile:

1. Reduce your sitting time throughout the day.

2. Practice good ergonomics. If working at a desk all day, ensure your setup is comfortable and supportive. However, this doesn’t negate the need to get up and move every hour! If working in a physically demanding job, ensure you are performing any awkward or heavy lifting with care. It is important to maintain strong muscles and joints with regular conditioning exercise so you can perform your work duties with minimal injury risk.

3. When exercising or working all day on your feet, ensure you are wearing supportive footwear.

4. Enjoy the benefits of remedial massage. This can help to increase circulation, reduce muscle tension, and increase feelings of relaxation.

5. Aim to do this series of exercises and stretches every day:

Gluteal stretches (30 seconds each side) and hugging knees to chest, rocking gentle back and forth, to open up through the lower back (1 minute)

Gentle spinal twists side to side for a few minutes. Ease into the twist – no need to go into your end-range of motion straight away. 

Pelvic tucks for a few minutes. Think about flattening your lower back into the floor then allowing your spine to spring back to neutral. “Neutral” low back has a natural curve where your spine won’t touch the floor.

Slow and controlled glute bridges (at least 10 repetitions)

Cat / Cow stretch (at least 6 repetitions). Think about drawing your head towards your pelvis,
and belly button to spine in the ‘angry cat’ phase. Think about bringing your chest to the ceiling in the ‘cow’ phase.

Seated gentle spinal twists (hold for a few breaths each direction)

Shoulder blade squeezes (aim for 1-2 minutes)

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References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076265?s=4
https://www.spine-health.com/blog/five-ways-keep-your-spine-healthy-and-happy
https://www.coloradospineinstitute.com/education/wellness/exercise-healthy-spine/

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