Stretching promotes normal metabolic activity of the inter-vertebral discs, muscles and ligaments. It should be done in a smooth, controlled manner and should never be painful. If you do experience any pain, please consult your health care professional.
These stretches should be done at least twice each day (first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening before bed). You will also benefit from stretching throughout the day whenever you feel your muscles stiffen. Ten repetitions to each side are suggested for each stretch.
1. Spinal Rotations: Sitting upright, slowly twist your spine as far as it will go (look over your shoulder) to both sides.
2. Spinal Extension/Flex: Sitting upright, place hands on knees. Slowly pull head back as pelvis is tilted forward, then bend your head forward as your pelvis tips backwards.
3. Spinal Lateral Bending: Sitting upright, bend fully to one side and then to the other (bring your ear towards your shoulder as far as you can).
This exercise enhances spinal curves and prepares you and your spine for a restful sleep, following your evening stretches. Lay on a neck and back roll for 10 minutes before sleeping. Place neck roll under your neck, pressed against your shoulders. Place lower back roll below your rib cage and above your pelvis. You can add a bolster under your knees for added comfort (skip this exercise if you are using the ThoracicPillow®).