Despite problematic neck and back pains, people still put off going to a chiropractor because of scheduling constraints and exorbitant professional fees. The pain just lingers, and it’s a slow, torturous experience. However, spinal adjustment can be done in the home with a few simple techniques.
Before trying out any of the home techniques, however, keep in mind that spinal manipulation is not to be taken lightly. Chiropractors undergo intense training to avoid the risk of serious injury. The same procedures used for spinal pain relief can lead to severe damage to the nervous system, or dislocation and damage to the spinal joints. Before attempting spinal adjustment at home, consult a physician regarding the risks involved. Not all bodies are strong enough to handle chiropractic procedures. You want to alleviate your pain, not increase it.
Most chiropractors recommended the following basic stretches for spinal pain relief:
- Forward Bend. There are two ways to pull this stretch off. The first is by standing up, then bending forward to touch your toes. You can also do this to relieve back pain while seated. While in your chair, bend your torso so that your chest lays flat against your knees. Let your arms hang freely from their sockets while holding this position for a few counts.
- Flamingo Stretch. A simple form of spinal adjustment, this involves standing on one foot, like a flamingo. Take your other foot with your hand and lift it behind your back as high as you can. To balance the strain on your sides, you can repeat this process with the feet reversed.
- Crossed Arms. This position will stretch the muscles of the shoulders. Place one arm on your chest. With the other arm, grab the elbow on your chest and pull it towards the pulling arm. This is good for back pains near the shoulder blades.
- Neck Stretches. The simplest form of spinal adjustment, this involves slowly moving your head around. Stretch your neck by gently pulling your head with your hand to the left. Repeat this to the right and forward. Remember to do things softly; getting too rough with your neck may damage your spine.
- Lower Back Twist. In a seated position, cross your left leg over the right leg. Place your right elbow on your left outer thigh, and push with your elbow. Switch sides and repeat. This will help relieve any lower back pains.
Keep in mind that these stretches are for the prevention of spinal problems. Any troubles that require more serious spinal adjustment, such as methods that involve cracking your backbone, are better left to professional chiropractors. Home techniques are developed to be light for a reason – spinal manipulation is risky business, and one wrong move can leave your patient paralyzed. For chronic back pains that can’t be alleviated by these simple stretches, your best bet is still to see a reputable health care professional for diagnosis and possible spinal adjustment.