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October Mobility: Focus on Spine Health


Monthly Mobility Exercise: Focus on Spine Health

In recent months, we have been advocating the importance of incorporating mobility training into your regular physical activities. As we age, the significance of joint health becomes increasingly evident due to the various injuries and discomforts that involve our joints. In essence, our primary tools for safeguarding joint health—addressing pain, preventing injuries, and slowing degeneration—are physical treatment, such as chiropractic care, and physical exercise.

Traditionally, physical exercise encompasses resistance training (utilizing free weights, body weight, resistance bands, and machines) and endurance training (such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc.). Flexibility training, specifically stretching, has often been recommended as a valuable addition to your regimen, even though there have been conflicting studies questioning its relevance (I have since changed my perspective on this; don’t forget to incorporate stretching into your post-workout routine). Mobility training, comparatively newer in the realm of physical fitness, has been a focus of mine for nearly a decade since my study of Functional Range Conditioning (FRC).

The Importance of Mobility Training

To put it simply, mobility training consists of movement patterns designed to preserve and enhance joint mobility and overall joint health. Since most of the discomfort and pain we encounter in life are linked to joint dysfunction (think back and neck pain, hip and knee arthritis, rotator cuff shoulder injuries, etc.), prioritizing mobility training makes perfect sense. After all, we’re talking about your health.

This month, in honor of World Spine Health Day on October 16, I’m emphasizing the importance of Spine Mobility. Spine mobility exercises (and indeed all joint exercises) warrant daily attention. They complement your strength, cardio, or stretching routines exceptionally well. Alternatively, they can stand as a valuable stand-alone exercise regimen. Regardless of whether they are your sole physical activity or part of a larger routine, make a point to incorporate these exercises into your day.

Spine Mobility Exercises

Here are some key Spine Mobility exercises that you should consider incorporating into your routine:

Neck Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

Gentle and controlled neck rotations can help maintain the mobility of your cervical spine. These movements can alleviate tension and stiffness in the neck area, which is a common source of discomfort, especially for those who spend long hours working at a desk or looking at screens.

Thoracic Spine Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

The thoracic spine is crucial for maintaining good posture and preventing upper back pain. Controlled rotations of the thoracic spine can improve your overall mobility and reduce the risk of developing problems related to poor posture.

Lumbar Spine Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

A flexible and healthy lumbar spine is essential for everyday movements, from bending and lifting to twisting. Incorporating controlled rotations into your routine can help keep your lower back mobile and pain-free.

Segmental Cat-Cow

The segmental cat-cow exercise is an excellent way to enhance the flexibility of your entire spine. It encourages the articulation of each vertebra, promoting a healthier and more resilient back.

Downward Dog to Cobra Transition

This dynamic movement combines elements of yoga to promote spinal flexibility and strength. The transition from downward dog to cobra pose engages the entire spine and can help relieve tension and discomfort.

Prioritizing Spine Mobility

For a comprehensive demonstration of these Spine Mobility exercises, including Neck Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs), Thoracic Spine Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs), Lumbar Spine Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs), Segmental Cat Cow, and Downward Dog to Cobra Transition, you can watch the video below:

Prioritizing Spine Mobility is a proactive step toward maintaining your overall well-being. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to nurture your joint health.

In conclusion, as we celebrate World Spine Health Day this month, let’s commit to taking care of our spinal health through regular mobility exercises. By doing so, we can enjoy a more active and pain-free life as we age. Whether you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just beginning your fitness journey, remember that it’s never too late to prioritize your spine health. Start today, and your future self will thank you for it.


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