Dr. Ben Kim
ligaments and muscles go from one bone to another. The main difference
is that ligaments stabilize joints, while muscles allow you to move
spine is made up of 24 bones that together, form your vertebral column,
the protective housing for your nervous system.
each of your vertebrae are ligaments and muscles, ligaments to keep
your spine stable, and muscles that allow you to bend and rotate your
trunk as needed.
your muscles receive more ongoing blood supply than your ligaments.
But both your muscles and ligaments can benefit from ongoing stretching,
which ensures regular delivery of oxygen and nutrients, and regular
removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products.
your ligaments and muscles are not well perfused with healthy blood,
they're at greater risk of being sprained and strained.
Simple Stretches to Keep Your Spine and Surrounding Ligaments and
the backside of your spine, particularly the lower region, begin by
lying on your back with your neck comfortably supported, then use
your hands to bring one knee up by your chest and hold it there for
a good 20 to 30 seconds.
with your other leg, then do the same thing but with both legs up
by your chest at the same time. If you can't get your knees to come
right up against your chest, just bring them up as far as you comfortably
can. Hold for a good 20 to 30 seconds, release and rest for a few
seconds, then repeat a few more times.
the tissues that line the front of your spine, particularly the lower
part of your spine, begin by lying on your stomach, then use your
hands to slowly push your upper body up off the ground. Push your
upper body as far up off the ground as is comfortable, but keep your
lower extremities on the ground
to maintain comfortable breathing, and hold for a good 20 to 30 seconds.
Rest for a few seconds, then repeat another few times.
a "long axis," traction-like stretch to your entire spine and its
surrounding ligaments and muscles, begin by lying on your back with
your arms up above your head, resting on the ground.
in this position, simultaneously push your arms up and away from your
core while "pointing" your legs down and away from your core. The
idea is to make your trunk slightly longer by stretching your arms
and legs away from your middle at the same time. Hold this position
for as long as is comfortable, rest for a few seconds, then repeat
for a few sets.
all stretches, it's best to save these spinal stretches for later
on in the day, and optimally, after a good workout that has your heart
pumping generous amounts of blood through all of your tissues. Generally,
blood flow is at its worst first thing in the morning, so stretching
major muscles and ligaments upon awakening comes with increased risk
of experiencing strains and sprains.
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