Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cat-Camel Stretch

Reminder: If you have not done so, please read the Initial Post and  Blog Information.  At the upper left of this page above my picture click on the button, Initial Post and  Blog Information.

Cat-Camel stretches are just that: stretches.  They won't increase the strength of your abdominal muscles or back muscles, but they will stretch the ligaments, tendons, and smaller intrinsic muscles of the vertebral column.  Although there is some increase in intra-abdominal pressure, there is little compression of the disc spaces, so there is little chance of injury to discs, facet joints, or vertebrae.  It is a good way to start and finish the day, if you have morning and evening stiffness.  Most people with osteoarthritis of the spine do begin and end their days with mild to moderate stiffness of the lower spine and neck.

Remember, this is only a stretch.  You should only do 3 to 5 repetitions to relieve the stiffness.  If you do more, or if you have pain, then you may be damaging rather than helping your spine.

Start this stretch on all fours: hands and knees.  Slowly arch your back and tuck your head into your chest.  Slowly count to three.  Then slowly allow your back to sag and tilt your chin upward.  Again, hold this position for a count of three.  Repeat 3 to 5 times.

If you'd like to see this exercise done correctly, then go to the following YouTube site:

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