Since spondylosis is also referred to as spinal arthritis, it produces the symptoms commonly reported by those who are bugged by arthritis — pain. Aside from taking medications that help ease pain and inflammation, there are also a few exercises that are said to help spondylosis sufferers attain relief from pain.
Any part of your spine may end up with spondylosis. In fact, the condition can come in 3 different types: cervical spondylosis (affecting the neck), thoracic spondylosis (affecting the upper and mid portion of the spine) and lumbar spondylosis (affecting the lower back).
Throacic spondylosis usually does not cause any symptom. In other words, you may suffer from it and still be able to go on with the usual grind. On the other hand, cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis can leave you in a great deal of pain. Having them requires you to take certain drugs (painkillers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs) to manage the symptom, although there is really no medication that can reverse the damage brought about by spondylosis.
Other than the intake of the said medications, you may also perform certain exercises that can help maintain the flexibility of the spine as well as the strength of the muscles surrounding and supporting the spine.
Exercises for Cervical Spondylosis
• Backward extension of the neck. Place one of your palms on the back of your head and apply some pressure to push your head forward. Try to apply an opposing pressure using your neck muscles in order to keep your head from being pushed forward. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
• Side bends. Place your left palm on your head, right above the ear. Apply some pressure and keep your head in a neutral position by applying an opposing pressure using your neck muscles. Do side bends 8 to 10 times.
• Neck forward bends. Grab a chair and sit down. Make sure that your entire spine is properly aligned. Try you have your chin touch your chest by bending your head forward. Hold the position for about 5 seconds, and then go back to the starting position. Rest the neck muscles for a couple of seconds and repeat. Do 8 to 10 repetitions.
• Neck backward bend. This exercise is also performed while you are sitting down. Straighten your spine and slowly turn your head to the left. Then slowly bend your head backward. Bend your neck forward and slowly turn your head towards the front. Repeat by turning your head to the right. Do everything 8 to 10 times.
• Turn from side to side. This is perhaps the simplest exercise available for cervical spondylosis. It may also be carried out while you’re standing or sitting. Simply turn your head to the left, then to the right. Everything should be repeated 8 to 10 times.
Exercises for Lumbar Spondylosis
• Lower back rotations. You need to lie on the floor to perform this exercise. Bend your knees and keep your legs together. Slowly, lower your knees to the left, going as far as you can comfortably. Gently and smoothly, take your knees to the right. Go back to the starting position. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions.
• Knee to chest – Again, this is done while you’re on the floor. Slowly, bend your left knee and take it to your chest. Hug it with your arms and try to take it as lower to your chest as possible. Hold the position for about 30 seconds. Slowly straighten your left leg and go back to the starting position. Do the same using your right leg. Each leg should be exercised in this manner for 5 times.
• Bridges. Other than being good for lumbar spondylosis, this is also good for flattening the belly. Lie on the floor, bend your knees and plant the soles of your feet on the floor. Gently take your hips off the floor to a comfortable level. Stay in this position for about 5 seconds. Slowly go back to the starting position. Do 8 to 10 times.
• Lower back extension. Lie on your stomach on the floor. Using your hands, take your upper body off the floor. Go as high as you comfortably can. Hold the position for about 5 seconds and go back to the starting position. Everything should be done 8 to 10 times.
Do remember that the exercises for cervical and lumbar spondylosis mentioned above are not meant to replace the ones that are recommended by your doctor. Also, it’s important for you to stop doing them and seek medical attention if you feel any discomfort and pain while performing the said exercises.