Back pain is one of most commonly experienced discomfort that people encounter these days. The treatment for back pain is often done using medicines, injections/surgeries, heat/cold, acupressure and acupuncture. These are costly treatments which do not guarantee total relief from back pain. Thus, patients often have to keep on repeating such treatments to get pain relief. Although, there are many other methods, one of the ways to treat back pain is by McKenzie method. It is a type of physical therapy. It was developed by the world renowned physiotherapist Robin McKenzie of New Zealand, in the year 1950.
5 McKenzie Exercises for Back
Approximately 80% of people suffer from low back pain sometime during their lives. It makes a person feel uncomfortable all the time. Some of the causes of low back pain are herniated discs, narrowed spinal column and piriformis syndrome. The McKenzie exercises to be performed to get relief from back pain are:
McKenzie Exercise for Back #1: Press-ups to Reduce Back Pain
- The person should lie on the stomach on a soft mat spread on the floor.
- The hands should be at the sides. If required, one can put a soft pillow below the abdomen.
- Place the arms in such a way that the hands are placed flat in front of the body while the elbow is under the shoulders.
- Using the arm strength, the torso should be pushed upwards. It should be held for 30 seconds and then returned back to the original position.
- This McKenzie exercise for back should be repeated 3-5 times, thrice every day.
McKenzie Exercise for Back #2: Forward Bend to Treat Back Pain:
This McKenzie Exercise for Back can be done in seated or standing position. It helps to stretch hamstrings, buttocks and lower back.
- When Performing the Exercise in Sitting Position:
- One should sit on the chair with feet flat on the ground. The knees should be at right angles.
- One should lean forward as much as possible till one reaches the ground.
- Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds and then return back to the sitting position.
- This McKenzie Exercise for Back should be repeated 3 times.
- When Performing the Exercise in Standing Position:
- One should stand with feet width apart and hands at the sides.
- One should lean forward and lower the hands down the legs to the feet.
- One should be in this position for 30-60 seconds and then return back to the standing position.
McKenzie Exercise for Back #3: Cat-Cow Stretch (Pelvic Tilts):
- One should be in kneeling position, with hands on the floor under the shoulder.
- The chin should be moved towards the chest when one breathes out while the back is raised towards the ceiling.
- Subsequently, the stretch should be reverse. The stomach should be pulled to the floor and the neck should be stretched backed with chin towards the ceiling. This should be repeated slowly for about 1-2 minutes.
McKenzie Exercise for Back #4: Lower Back Twist
- One should lie on the back, with arms outstretched and feet flat on the floor.
- The head and neck should be turned to one side while the knees should be turned to the opposite side.
- One should try to keep the shoulders on the ground.
- One should be in this position for 30-60 seconds, and then it is to be repeated on other side.
McKenzie Exercise for Back #5: Lower Back Massage and Stretch (Lumbar Rocking)
- One should lie on the back, bring both the knees to the chest and should hold the knees with the hands.
- One should rock them slightly backwards and forwards doing a gentle massage to the lower back.
- One should rock in circles, first small rounds and then make bigger rounds. This McKenzie Exercise for Back be done in one direction for 5 minutes and then in other direction for 5 minutes.
While performing these McKenzie Exercises for Back, one should not exert excessively since it can cause problems or bring in additional pain.
Globally, McKenzie method is recommended for back-pain and other types of disabilities. It has shown to reduce back pain, restore full function and prevent recurrences. Although, there isn't still enough scientific evidence which proves its effectiveness over other treatments, more awareness and research are required to prove its effectiveness.
Mckenzie Exercises to Treat Back Pain