Body, Expert advice
Understanding Decompression Of The Spine

Dr Nikhil Lad

Human Biomechanics Specialist from Functional Patterns USA

3 min read


Gravity acts on us 24/7 and we are fighting against it every single day of our lives. Gravity can be UR best friend or it can be your worst enemy. The question we got to ask ourselves is whether we are respecting gravity and training in accordance to this force.
Most of the lower back issues like slip disc, disc bulge are related to compression of the spine. The spine can be compressed with a sedentary lifestyle, sitting at your desk for long hours. Also, UR training can be a responsible factor in compressing UR spine. A lot of the spinal injuries originate at the gym.
To understand the facts we need to understand the body’s kinetic chain. Our spine is mainly made up of cervical – the neck region, thoracic – upper back region, lumbar – lower back and sacrum – the tailbone. A lot of you may be aware of this, but very few realize that the diaphragm and muscles of the diaphragm are responsible for keeping our spine upright. If it was not for these muscles we would be walking on our fours, just like a quadruped.

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Certain gym exercises like weighted squats and deadlifts are one of the responsible factors for slip disc. These exercises are considered as the holy grail of the fitness industry but we at Functional Patterns have dissected this exercise to unveil the harmful effects of these.

In the spine, there is intravertebral space between vertebrae; there also has to be space between UR scapula or shoulder blade and UR first rib. In the same context there should be space between UR quadratus lumborum, UR lower back and UR last rib, the floating rib.
When you do weighted squats you normally keep the weights on UR cervical spine. This weight acts in the downward direction and compress UR spine and the space between the structure mentioned above is going to get affected, causing an inferior pull on UR diaphragm which will be the cause of a Disc Bulge or a Slip Disc.

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Even if you don’t experience any of these conditions, you would have caused intervertebral space to become lesser, which is the first step towards injury.

In order to decompress the spine we have to train the kinetic chain and create the necessary space through the body’s connections. This can be seen in the video. You will see how to decompress UR Spine with a superior pull of the abdomen. Please note that there is a lot of intricate detailing which goes into this. So ensure you try this only under the guidance of a Human Biomechanics Specialist who has knowledge about this subject.

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