9 Exercises for Spinal Decompression at Home

spinal decompression at home

If you are one of those who have spent hours sitting and hunching in front of a computer, you may have started experiencing its adverse impact on the neck, back, and joints. Chronic pain is sadly the most common impact. If you are experiencing it too or feel that your spine has become stiff and do not have time to visit clinics for treatment sessions, it is time to try exercises for spinal decompression at home.  

Clinical studies have concluded that spinal decompression can be highly relieving for back pain and other spinal symptoms. Well, this therapy has a few risks, due to which it is essential to consult your physician or therapist before proceeding. This post reveals nine simple exercises for decompressing your spine.

Exercises for Spinal Decompression at Home

Most of these exercises are spinal stretches that help in changing the position of the discs. This helps in reducing tension and pain while boosting blood and oxygen levels in the spine. If performed precisely, the process will relieve you from pain and give a comfortable feeling.

1. Bar hang-up

This is one of the effective exercises to try for spinal decompression at home with a pull-up bar. It is known to decompress the spine when you hang your body from a bar. As a result, you will experience relief from the decompression symptoms too. Here are the steps to do this exercise easily as well as safely:

  1. Locate a bar that is quite sturdy to hold your weight while you hang using it.
  2. Extend your arms to grab the bar and hang on it.
  3. Gradually raise the amount of hanging weight by unwinding your muscles once you start feeling relaxed.
  4. Be in this pose for 10 to 30 seconds as per your level of comfort.
  5. Release yourself slowly from the bar and allow your feet to touch the ground.
  6. Rest for a minute.
  7. Repeat the steps up to six times.

Aim to perform this workout twice or thrice a day.

Bar hang-up

2. Standing Spinal Stretch

If you do not have any bar to hold well, consider this exercise. With roots in ancient China, this exercise works by releasing tension by stretching the spine and releasing the strain from the burdened nerves. It also loosens the stiff paraspinal muscles and reduces nerve compression. Following are the steps to perform it:

  1. Stand straight with both feet being almost shoulder-width apart and bending your knees not more than by an inch.
  2. Position both arms overhead such that they are in line with your ears.
  3. Incline your pelvis a bit forward.
  4. Retain your straight spine.
  5. Exhale long and while doing so, lower the arms such that each spinal vertebra rotates one at a time.
  6. Inhale.
  7. On the way up, position both arms by your ears and retain it while lowering.
  8. Relax atop with hands over the head.
  9. Breathe well.

Keep an aim of repeating these steps nine times.


3. Standing Kitchen Sink Stretch

This exercise is another alternative to try if you do not have any bar to hold and stretch well. You only need a sturdy kitchen sink or any other sturdy surface that you can hold well. Following are the steps to perform this exercise:

  1. Hold the edge of the sink and stand straight.
  2. Gradually lean back and fully straighten your elbows. This should be such that you put all the weight of yours on the back.
  3. Be in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds
  4. Inhale deeply and make an effort to relax in the position.
  5. Repeat these steps thrice.

You can do this exercise throughout the day as many times as possible.

SOURCE: https://myfiveminuteyoga.com/1632/five-minute-yoga-challenge-kitchen-counter-series-part-one/

4. Overhead Stretch

This is a pretty easy exercise to perform at home for spinal decompression. There is no need of any tool or equipment. It works by relaxing your upper back section and shoulders. By bringing the arms overhead, the weight is reduced from your shoulders and their blades for a gentle decompression. The exercise is more effective in those with a bent seated posture in front of a computer. Here are the steps to perform this exercise:

  1. Stand straight on the floor with both legs being almost shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take both arms over your head and interlock the fingers while keeping the elbows straight.
  3. Pretend as you are rising to touch the ceiling, in this pose.
  4. Be in this pose for 10 to 30 seconds as per your comfort level.

You may do this exercise as many times as you feel comfortable throughout the day.

Overhead Stretch
SOURCE: https://www.skimble.com/exercises/13883-overhead-stretch-how-to-do-exercise

5. Prayer Stretch

Being performed on the floor, the prayer stretch has provided much relief to those suffering from spine decompression. Here are its steps:

  1. Be on the floor by being down on all fours (two palms and two knees).
  2. While on both knees, make the glutes touch your feet.
  3. Flex the hip and go forward. The more forward you go, the more effective this stretch will be. However, do not stretch much, or else you will feel discomfort.
  4. Be in this pose for 10 to 30 seconds as per your comfort level.
  5. Come back up with the help of your knees.
  6. Take a break of one minute.
  7. Repeat the steps.

Aim to do this exercise thrice a day.

Prayer Stretch

6. Cat and Camel Pose

This is an effective yoga pose that releases compression by stretching your spine in two different ways. It is a floor exercise that has proven to be effective for people with back pain and sciatica. This yoga exercise works by making room between the vertebrae and changing the spine’s curvature to make it more flexible. It also works to boost circulation in the spine and fortify the muscles flanking it. Following are the steps:

  1. Be on the floor by being down on all fours (two palms and two knees).
  2. Place your palms right beneath the shoulders and knees in alignment with the hips.
  3. Bend your back down by moving your torso towards the floor. This is the cat pose.
  4. Be in this pose for up to five seconds.
  5. Restore to the normal position.
  6. Move your torso up to make a hump-like pose. This is the camel pose.
  7. Be in this pose for up to five seconds.
  8. Repeat the aforementioned steps up to 15-20 times.

Aim to do this exercise three to four times a day. Just keep in mind that there is no next while switching from one pose to another. Both the poses done together are treated as a single repetition.

Cat and Camel Pose

7. Child’s Pose

Also known as a resting pose, a child’s pose is a popular stretching exercise in the world of yoga. It is known to decompress the lower back easily. Following are its steps:

  1. Sit on your knees and push the lower back towards the feet.
  2. Flex forward by stretching both arms in front until you reach a completely comfortable position on the floor.
  3. Be in this pose for 15 to 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat these steps five times.

You can perform this exercise as many times as possible throughout the day.

childs pose

8. Knee to Chest

Also known as the happy baby pose, this is another effective exercise for spinal decompression at home. It works by massaging your back and lengthening the spine while sleeping on the floor. Following are the steps to perform this exercise:

  1. Sleep straight on the mat instead of directly sleeping on the floor. The latter can irritate your spine.
  2. Pull both knees towards the chest and join your palms around the knees.
  3. Bring your chin as near as possible to your knees.
  4. Be in this pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Do rock gently if possible.
  6. Repeat this procedure at least five times.
knee to chest

9. Feet on Chair

This is more a position rather than an exercise. It is meant for positional decompression wherein you lie on your back on the floor and put your feet on the chair. Although it will not result in total decompression, it will remove some stress from the lower back portion. Following are the steps to perform it:

  1. Sit on the floor and keep a chair in front of you a bit away.
  2. Lie on the floor and place both lower legs on the chair. Ensure that the chair’s edge comes on the backside of both knees.
  3. Be in this position for five minutes. Slowly, increase this time until you feel comfortable.


Spinal decompression at home is possible by doing some simple exercises as mentioned above. However, it is wise to first consult your therapist and then proceed. 

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