Rehabilitation of the Spinal Cord Injuries Through Mat Exercises

If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, the chances are that you’ll want to know more upon hearing of any rehabilitation solution. Mat exercises have been getting increasing attention as an effective treatment for those struggling with spinal cord injuries. And it’s no wonder — mat exercises offer an efficient approach to realigning the body from head to toe and restoring strength and mobility over time.


Through this article, we’ll explain what these rehabilitative practices consist of and how they can benefit individuals who have experienced a range of types and severities in spinal cord injuries.

Advantages of Mat Exercises for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Exercise mats are helpful in many ways, particularly for those recovering from spinal cord injuries. In addition to lowering the likelihood of falls and subsequent injuries, workout mats may make the experience more comfortable overall.

Core Strengthening

Mat exercises engage the core muscles, which are essential for providing stability and support to the spine. Strengthening the core can help improve overall posture, balance, and coordination.

Improved Flexibility

Mat exercises often involve stretching and lengthening muscles, which can help improve flexibility. Increased flexibility can enhance joint mobility and range of motion, making daily activities easier for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Increased Muscle Strength

Regular mat exercises target various muscle groups, including the upper and lower body. Strengthening these muscles can compensate for any muscle weakness caused by the injury, enhance functional abilities, and assist with activities of daily living.

Enhanced Balance and Coordination

Mat exercises challenge the body’s balance and proprioception (awareness of body position in space). By focusing on balance and coordination, individuals can improve their ability to sit, stand, and move with stability and control.

Bone Health

Weight-bearing mat exercises, such as certain yoga poses, can help promote bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is particularly important for individuals with spinal cord injuries who may have a higher risk of bone density loss.


Individuals with spinal cord injuries must consult their healthcare provider or a qualified rehabilitation professional before starting any exercise program. They can provide personalized guidance, tailor exercises to individual needs, and ensure safety during the practice.


Many different kinds of mats are available, each with its own set of advantages. By providing grip and a little padding, a Pilates or yoga mat, for instance, may reduce the risk of injury and falls.


Most weigh next to nothing and may be folded or coiled up for easy transport and storage. Extra-thick gym or workout mats are great for reducing the risk of muscle soreness because of their added cushion.


When shopping for a mat, it’s essential to consider how portable it is, how simple it is to clean it, and how much it will cost. Though mats may differ in construction, they are generally portable, resistant to moisture, and long-lasting; this makes them ideal for use during rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury.

How to Find the Best Exercise Mat after a Spinal Cord Injury

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

Before starting any exercise routine or purchasing an exercise mat, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist who specializes in spinal cord injuries. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific condition, limitations, and needs.

Seek Recommendations

Reach out to your healthcare professional, support groups, or other individuals who have experienced spinal cord injuries and have successfully incorporated exercise into their routine. They may be able to provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their personal experiences.

Consider Thickness and Cushioning

Look for an exercise mat that offers adequate thickness and cushioning to provide comfort and protect your joints and bones. A thicker mat can help absorb impact and reduce the risk of injuries.

Check for a Non-slip Surface

Ensure the exercise mat has a non-slip surface or a textured grip. This feature will provide stability during exercises and prevent accidental slips or falls.

Assess Durability

Look for a mat made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular use. Consider factors like wear resistance, tear resistance, and easy maintenance. A durable mat will last longer and provide better support over time.

Evaluate Size and Portability

Consider the dimensions of the exercise mat and ensure it is large enough to accommodate your movements comfortably. Additionally, if you plan to use the mat at different locations or need to transport it frequently, opt for a lightweight mat that is easy to carry.

Test for Stability and Support

If possible, try out different exercise mats before purchasing. Check the mat’s stability by standing, sitting, and lying on it to ensure it provides adequate support and doesn’t compress excessively under your body weight.

Look for Additional Features

Depending on your specific requirements, you may want to consider mats with added features such as antimicrobial properties, waterproof surfaces, or latex-free mats.

Read Customer Reviews

Before making a final decision, read customer reviews and ratings for different exercise mats. This can give you insights into the experiences of others who have used the mat and help you make an informed choice.

Therapeutic Mat Workouts for People With Spinal Cord Injuries

Mat exercises may seem daunting, but you should keep at them. The severity and long-term effects of spinal cord injuries vary widely from case to case. Neuroplasticity may be influenced by several factors, one of which is intensity. However, one should aim for a sense of challenge rather than frustration.


You may tailor several of the mat workouts to your current fitness level. The mat, as mentioned below, exercises must be done only with your therapist’s clearance, and a therapist is a fantastic resource for additional mat exercises specific to your problem.


If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, try mat exercises.


Get down on the floor on your side, with your knees flexed and feet relaxed. Gently raise your hips off the floor while keeping your upper body, arms, and head firmly planted. Keep this position for 5 seconds, and then slowly release. Do this ten times.

Quadriceps Stretch

If you’re resting on your back, you may flex your knee by grabbing your foot or ankle and pulling up. The anterior thigh region should feel a stretch. Keep your breath even and your body still for 20 to 30 seconds. Instead of stretching your quads while lying on your belly, you may do it by hooking your foot through an elastic hook or belt. If you have trouble feeling, more caution should be used to avoid overstretching.

Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises on a mat are beneficial for strengthening the hip abductor muscles and improving overall lower body stability. To perform side leg raises, lie on your side on the exercise mat with your legs straight and stacked on each other. Rest your head on your arm for support. Keeping your core engaged and maintaining a neutral spine, slowly lift your top leg upward, leading with your heel.


Raise it as high as is comfortable while maintaining control and without rotating your hips. Pause briefly at the top and then lower your leg back down in a controlled manner. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching to the other side.

Knee Push-Ups

This more complex workout may require more power and range of motion. Get down on your knees and hands and tilt your torso forward so your spine forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. 


Put your palms on the floor and stoop down by bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle. You may get back up by forcing yourself down and extending your elbows. Try doing this without touching the ground if you want to increase the difficulty.

Cobra Stretch

To do the cobra stretch, lie face down on the mat with your legs extended and the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the mat beneath your shoulders, fingers pointing forward.


Engage your core and slowly lift your chest off the mat, keeping your elbows close to your body. Gently arch your back and extend your spine, feeling a stretch in your abdominal muscles and the front of your hips. Hold the stretch for a few deep breaths, focusing on lengthening your spine and opening your chest. Slowly lower your upper body back down to the mat.

Take Away

It’s easy to dismiss a mat as another part of training gear, but they have many applications. Mats are a great therapeutic tool for those who have survived a spinal cord injury, and many different kinds are available, each with its own advantages.


The inability to use one’s strength is only one of the obstacles that might make exercise following a spinal cord injury difficult. Mats, which reduce the impact on the joints, facilitate muscular stretching, and boost core strength, are a boon to those who have endured traumatic events and want to exercise comfortably and efficiently.


    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop