4 Great Reasons To Maintain A Flexible Spine

“You are as old as your spine is flexible” is an ancient Chinese proverb – and there is a lot of truth in this.

A strong, flexible spine is one of the foundations of our wellbeing.  We use it to walk, lift, work and exercise effectively and without pain.  However, our sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, and also injuries can cause our spines to lose some of their flexibility and strength.  In turn, this can lead to further injuries and pain.

Find out more about four key benefits of maintaining a flexible spine below and also about the role that Yoga can play in this.

The Benefits Of A Flexible Spine

Less Back Pain

Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. In addition, some 16 million adults or 8% experience persistent or chronic back pain and as a result experience wide-ranging limitations to everyday activities.

Overall, statistics indicate that over 80% of the population experience episodes of back pain at some stage in their lives. As a result, almost everyone can relate to back pain, and the related discomfort and restrictions it imposes.

When we experience back pain, muscles around the area tighten and can make the pain worse.  Careful and targeted stretching exercises can go a long way to increase spinal flexibility, strength and stability, and easing related back pain.  In turn, this enables easier and deeper movements and promotes greater mobility and balance in our everyday lives.

Better Posture, Strength and Balance

Tense muscles can affect the alignment of the spine.  They also prevent nutrients and oxygen from moving effectively into the area.  Once we start to gently stretch these muscles, they exert less tension on the spine, allowing us to relax, stand taller and have better balance.  Nutrients and oxygen are allowed to move freely into the area around the spine, rejuvenating the tissues.

Injury Prevention

Lack of spinal flexibility increases the likelihood of injury to muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Without regular exercise and stretching, these stiffen up and reduce the range of motion throughout the spine.  The back becomes susceptible to movements that exceed this range of motion and so injury results.  Regular, gentle stretching of the back effectively increases the range of spinal motion and reduces the risk of injury.

Increased Wellbeing and Mental Clarity

Yoga exercises to promote the flexibility of the spine promote the circulation of spinal fluid, resulting in increased mental clarity and energising of the body’s energy centres.  Kundalini Yoga especially offers some great routines to stimulate all vertebrae and energy centres, providing a wonderful boost of energy.