Spinal compression is characterized by excessive strain on the disks that serve as cushions between the vertebrae of the spine. This condition can produce symptoms such as back stiffness and pain and cause nerve problems that can affect emotional and cognitive processes. Some physical therapists and other medical professionals believe certain exercises can help decompress the disks of the spine and alleviate the symptoms of spinal decompression. Always check with your doctor before using exercises and stretches to alleviate spinal compression.
The cat stretch might help relieve pressure on the spinal disks, particularly those in the lumbar region of the spine. Start by positioning yourself on your knees and elbows, with your head facing forward. Raise your lower back by tightening your abdominal muscles. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds, and then relax your abdominal muscles to lower your back to the starting position.
The back arch serves to elongate the lower spine and relieve compression of the lumbar disks. Begin the pose by lying on your back on an exercise mat. Breath deeply into your chest, clasp your hands behind your knees and pull your knees up to your chest. Your hips should be at least a few inches off the exercise mat. Lift your head so it does not touch the mat. Count to seven and return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions at least once daily.
The child's pose is a simple yoga pose that stretches the spine by elongating the lower body along the natural curves of the thigh muscles. Start by resting on your knees on an exercise mat. Lower your head to the floor with your arms tucked beside your legs, pointing away from your head. Gently pull your upper body forward to enhance the stretch of the lower spine. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds and release the stretch.