Spinal injuries can range from mild to severe and can affect different areas of the spine, including the neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine), and lower back (lumbar spine). Depending on the severity and location of the injury, exercise can play an important role in recovery, rehabilitation, and overall health and wellness. Before starting any exercise routine after a spinal injury, it’s important to consult with a qualified medical professional who can evaluate your specific condition and provide guidance on safe and effective exercises.
With that in mind, here are:
20 exercises that may help improve range of motion after a spinal injury:
1.Deep breathing exercises – helps to improve lung capacity and oxygen supply to the body.Deep breathing exercise is a relaxation technique that involves taking slow, deep breaths to help reduce stress and anxiety, and increase relaxation.Deep breathing exercises can be done anytime, anywhere and can be particularly helpful during times of stress or anxiety. With practice, deep breathing can help increase lung capacity, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. This helps with Spinal Injury
2. Neck rotation – Slowly turn your head to the right and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat to the left. Neck rotation is a simple stretching exercise that can help improve range of motion in the neck and relieve tension. It’s important to perform neck rotation slowly and gently to avoid any strain or spinal injury. If you experience pain or discomfort during the exercise, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional.
3. Shoulder rolls – Roll your shoulders forward and back in a circular motion. Shoulder roll is a simple exercise that helps to relieve tension in the shoulders and improve range of motion. Shoulder rolls can be done anytime, anywhere and can be particularly helpful for those who spend long hours sitting in front of a computer or performing repetitive shoulder movements. The exercise can help improve blood circulation, reduce shoulder tension, and promote relaxation. However, it’s important to perform shoulder rolls slowly and gently to avoid any strain or spinal injury.
4. Arm circles – Stand up straight with arms extended out to the sides, make small circles in the air with your arms.Arm circles are a simple exercise that involves moving your arms in circular motions to improve range of motion and flexibility in the shoulders and upper body. Arm circles can be performed as a warm-up before a workout or as a standalone exercise to improve shoulder mobility and reduce shoulder tension.
5. Elbow flexion and extension – Slowly bend and straighten your elbow. Elbow flexion is the movement of bending the elbow, bringing the hand towards the shoulder. This movement is primarily achieved by the contraction of the biceps muscle in the upper arm. Elbow extension is the movement of straightening the elbow, bringing the hand away from the shoulder. This movement is primarily achieved by the contraction of the triceps muscle in the upper arm.
Elbow flexion and extension are important for maintaining upper body strength and range of motion. These movements can be incorporated into a variety of workouts or performed as a standalone exercise. However, it’s important to perform elbow flexion and extension slowly and with control to avoid any strain or injury. If you experience pain or discomfort during the exercise, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional.
6. Wrist curls – Hold a light weight in your hand, rest your forearm on a table, and slowly lift and lower your wrist. Wrist curl is a strength-training exercise that targets the muscles of the forearms, particularly the wrist flexors and extensors. The exercise involves holding a weight in the hand and flexing and extending the wrist to lift the weight up and down. This helps with Spinal Injury.
There are two types of wrist curls: wrist flexion and wrist extension. Wrist flexion works the muscles on the palm side of the forearm, while wrist extension works the muscles on the back side of the forearm. Wrist curls can be performed using dumbbells, a barbell, or a wrist roller. It is important to use proper form and technique to avoid injury and maximise the benefits of the exercise.
7. Finger extensions – Place a rubber band around your fingers and spread them apart against resistance.Finger extension is a type of exercise that strengthens the extensor muscles in the fingers and wrists. These muscles are responsible for extending the fingers and wrist, and are used in a variety of daily activities such as typing, grasping objects, and playing musical instruments. Finger extension exercises can be done as part of a warm-up routine before engaging in other physical activities, or as a standalone exercise to improve hand and wrist strength and flexibility and helps with Spinal Injury. It is important to start with light resistance and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise over time to avoid injury.
8. Hip abduction and adduction – Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart, slowly lift and lower your leg to the side and across your body. Hip abduction and adduction are two exercises that work the muscles in the hips and thighs. Hip abduction refers to the movement of the leg away from the midline of the body, while hip adduction refers to the movement of the leg toward the midline of the body. Hip abduction and adduction exercises can be done using bodyweight or with equipment such as resistance bands, cables, or machines. These exercises can help to improve hip strength and stability, which can be beneficial for a variety of activities such as running, jumping, and sports that require lateral movement. It is important to use proper form and technique when performing these exercises to avoid any further spinal injury.
9. Hip flexion and extension – Stand up straight and bring your knee up towards your chest, then straighten it back down.
10. Knee flexion and extension – Sit on a chair and slowly bend and straighten your knee.
11. Ankle rotations – Hold your foot in the air and rotate it in a circular motion.Ankle rotation refers to the movement of the ankle joint in a circular or rotational motion. The ankle joint is formed by the articulation of the talus bone of the foot with the tibia and fibula bones of the lower leg. The ankle joint allows for a range of motion, including flexion (bending the foot upward), extension (pointing the foot downward), inversion (turning the sole of the foot inward), and eversion (turning the sole of the foot outward). Ankle rotation can refer to the combined motion of inversion and eversion, or to a specific type of rotation known as circumduction, which involves moving the foot in a circular motion. Ankle rotation exercises can be helpful in improving ankle mobility, stability, and strength.
12. Toe curls – Place a towel on the floor and use your toes to scrunch it up.Toe curls refer to a simple exercise that involves curling and flexing the toes to strengthen the muscles in the feet. This exercise is often recommended as part of a rehabilitation or prevention program for foot and ankle, Spine injuries, as well as for general foot health. Toe curls help to strengthen the muscles in the feet and toes, which can improve balance, stability, and agility. This exercise can also help to prevent common foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and metatarsalgia.
13. Pelvic tilt – Lie on your back with your knees bent, press your lower back into the floor and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Pelvic tilt refers to the position of the pelvis, which is the bony structure that forms the base of the spine and connects the legs to the trunk of the body. The pelvis can tilt forward (anterior pelvic tilt) or backward (posterior pelvic tilt), and this can affect the alignment of the spine and the distribution of weight on the lower body.
14. Cat-cow stretch – Get on your hands and knees, arch your back upwards like a cat and then downwards like a cow.
15. Back extensions – Lie on your stomach with your hands at your sides, slowly lift your upper body off the ground. A back extension is a type of exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The exercise can be performed using different equipment, such as a back extension bench or a stability ball.
16. Quadruped rocking – Get on your hands and knees and gently rock your body back and forth. Quadruped rocking is an exercise that involves moving the body back and forth while in a quadruped position, which is on your hands and knees. The exercise is a great way to improve core stability and mobility.
17. Seated twists – Sit on a chair and twist your upper body to the left and right.
18. Standing twists – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and twist your upper body to the left and right. Standing twist is an exercise that targets the core muscles, particularly the obliques. It can be performed with or without weights. To perform the exercise without weights, follow the same steps but keep your hands together in front of your chest. Standing twist is a great exercise to add to your core routine or as a warm-up exercise before engaging in other physical activities.
19. Standing hamstring stretch – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and reach towards your toes. The standing hamstring stretch is a simple but effective exercise that targets the muscles in the back of the legs, particularly the hamstrings and also most effectively help with Spinal Injury.
20. Standing calf stretch – Stand facing a wall with your hands against the wall, and step one foot back, keeping your heel on the ground, and lean forward.
Spinal injuries can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person’s health and quality of life. The spine plays a crucial role in the body, providing support and protection for the spinal cord, which is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spine can result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and other complications.Prevention is key to avoiding spinal injuries, and individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of injury by practising good posture, using proper lifting techniques, wearing appropriate protective equipment during sports and other physical activities, and avoiding risky behaviours like diving into shallow water.