Have you ever wondered why you can be having a fabulous morning, take a shower, start toweling off and then develop a crick in your spine? You bend over to brush your teeth, and have a back spasm that puts you to your knees? Or you get up out of your recliner after watching a show on TV and you have a stabbing pain in your middle back? What’s going on here? You were feeling just fine, and then out of the blue, you get a crick in your spine!
What causes a crick in your spine?
You may have degenerative joint or disk disease – that is very common. But most of it has to do with the stabilizing muscles of your spine. Certain muscles prepare your vertebrae for movement and need to contract at the proper time – they stabilize your vertebra. That enables you to have normal, safe movements. When they don’t do their jobs, you run the risk of developing a crick in your spine. “Strengthening” the stabilizer muscles involves training the nervous system and the muscles to contract quickly and appropriately. In my practice, I use several different techniques to accomplish this, each depending on your individual situation.
Chiropractic treatment for a crick in your spine.
Always, the first thing I do is make sure that your vertebral joints are working smoothly and through their full ranges of motion by using chiropractic adjustments. It doesn’t do any good to try to exercise a muscle when one or more of the joints that it affects are dysfunctional. Once I have established good joint movement, I may need to stretch some overactive and tight muscles, and facilitated or strengthen other lazy or weak muscles. When I determine which exercises are best for the task at hand, I teach those exercises to you, making sure you are using proper form and technique.
One of my favorite stabilizer exercises involves the rocker board or wobble board exercises. Forcing your body to balance with good, healthy posture is very effective in activating those stabilizers of your spine. Also, a helpful home exercise for strengthening your spine stability is the “standing stork exercise.” You stand on one leg with your back straight and tall, your eyes level with the horizon, your shoulders back (no slumping!!) and your other leg lifted high enough that your thigh is parallel with the ground. Try to stand in that position for 30 seconds on each leg. If that is easy for you, try holding that position while you bounce a ball off the wall and “play catch” with yourself. If it is too difficult to hold that posture for 30 seconds, position yourself in a doorway so that you can touch the door frame occasionally, and just keep on practicing the balancing with good posture. Repeating the process several times throughout the day will greatly enhance your balance, posture, and stabilization to prevent a future crick in your spine.
Of course, every case is different, and your exercise routine should be tailored to fit your specific rehabilitation needs to prevent a crick in your spine. Working out in the gym may actually be hurting you if you’re working the wrong muscles or using the wrong technique. Working the right muscle with the right technique will greatly enhance your spine’s stability and help keep you strong and pain free. As always, the worst thing you can do is be sedentary. Movement is the stuff of life!