Exercises to Reduce Spinal Deterioration

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Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common forms of spinal deterioration. This is the gradual reduction of disc space and elasticity of the vertebral discs, particularly in the cervical and lumbar spine, that cause pain and stiffness when you move, according to Dr. Peter Ullrich Jr., contributing writer for Spine-Health.com. Although this is a natural process as you age, you can perform certain exercises to minimize the risk of degenerative disc disease and other spine and joint disorders.

Hip Bridges

This exercise strengthens your buttocks and stabilizes your spine without placing additional pressure on your spine. Lie on the ground on your back with your arms near your body on the ground. Put your feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart. Exhale and lift your buttocks as high as you can while keeping your feet down. Hold this position for three seconds, and lower your buttocks to the ground. Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps. You can also do this exercise with one leg by extending one leg in the air and lifting your buttocks off the ground.

Cat and Dog

This exercise moves your spine by flexing and extending your upper and lower back together in an alternating pattern. Kneel on the ground on your hands and knees with your knees below your hip joints. Inhale and lift your head up, extending your lower back so your belly moves toward the ground. Exhale and flex your upper spine up, tilting your chin toward your chest. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Standing Torso Rotation

This exercise works on full spinal rotation while stabilizing your lower body. Stand with your left foot in front of you and point both feet forward. Turn your torso to your left with your arms extended in front of your chest. Hold this position for one second and turn the opposite direction. Perform 10 reps, switch leg position, and perform another set of 10 reps.

Expert Insight

No single method treats all spinal deterioration disorders because everyone's body, health, fitness level, and attitude toward health and exercise are different. One exercise might benefit one person while another causes pain for someone else. Fitness professional Anthony Carey, author of "Pain-Free Program," recommends that you consult with a qualified exercise worker for your own exercise program.