Stretches in the morning:
Spinal stiffness and pain is a common complaint. This can be caused by inflammation, arthritis or muscular tightness as well as injuries such as bulging discs.
The impact of spinal symptoms can easily be reduced by doing a regular morning stretching session.
Generally, I advise my patients to wait 20-30 minutes after rising from bed before they commence spinal stretching. This is to allow the discs to compress slightly after they have been expanding during sleep. This reduces the risk of injury to the discs.
Following is a list of great exercises to do in the morning to get your spine moving!
Knees to chest rocking: bring the knees to the chest and tuck up in a gentle rocking motion 10 times.
Sciatic nerve stretches: using a long belt stretch the leg as shown by gently moving the ankle forward and back, keeping the leg straight.
Piriformis and gluteal stretches: place the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other and lift both legs up toward you as shown, hold for 20-30 seconds as you pull the stretching leg toward the opposite shoulder and push into the ankle with the opposite knee.
Open book stretch: lying on your side as shown, breathe in as you take your top arm across your body, allowing your head and shoulders to turn with it. Hold the stretch and breathe out. Repeat 10 times both sides.