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  Pilates modified Mckenzie extension exercise for pain in lumbar flexion   Pilates Information
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Before starting the Pilates modified McKenzie Method Exercise, read Study your Pain:- Is it caused by lumbar flexion or lumbar extension?
Caution: (1) Don't do McKenzie Method first thing after getting out of bed - alow an hour on your feet for your discs to settle. (2) Don't do Mckenzie Method if you have been diagnosed with spondylolysis , have a marked postural lumbar lordosis, and/or have pain after a high impact accident. (3) If, having applied the Method your pain does not diminish or in fact worsens, see your doctor for a full diagnosis.
Expect: a degree of discomfort, but don't push through pain. You hope to feel pain reduce and “centralize” back from the leg, buttock or groin.

Pilates modified Mckenzie Method Extension Exercise, Action:-

  • Preparation: Lie face down on the floor with your hands under your shoulders. Gently zip and hollow, and tense your gluteals (refer: How to do Pilates Exercises) Breathe normally. Feel tension in your lower back release. Alow 2 to 10 minutes.

  • Action: Zip and hollow and tense the gluteals a little harder, and push up a few inches on your arms. Breathe normally & hold (2 to 10 minutes). Keep the zip and hollow and gluteal engagement going throughout.
  • If comfortable lift a little higher, and hold.
  • If comfortable, try very slowly relaxing the zip and hollow and engaged gluteals - relax as much as you feel comfortable with.
  • Ease back on to the floor, then stand up and try walking around. How is your pain now?

  • (McKenzie Method Extension Exercise for Lower Back Pain due to lumbar Flexion, Scroll right>>>...)
    1. Name, recommendations and story used by permission of Robin McKenzie and the McKenzie Institute International
    2. Links to McKenzie credentialed therapists can be located here.
    Illustrated Below: McKenzie Method Extension Exercises for lower Back pain
    Start Position:-
    Illustrated Mckenzie Extension Exercise - Start
    Action 1:-
    Illustrated Mckenzie Extension Exercise - Stage 1
    Action 2:- Mckenzie Extension Exercise - Stage 2
    What the McKenzie Method Extension Exercise Does -
    Diminishes or “localizes” low back pain due to lumbar flexion syndrome. The additional Pilates training and practice adds a degree of comfort and safety. It does this by (1), Relaxing the Psoas muscles by elongating them at the same time as applying gentle pressure on their trigger points (further info - Triggerpoint Therapy Workbook...).. These muscles compress the discs and the nerve roots of the lower back causing low back pain & sciatica . (2), Gently levering the vertebral bodies of the lower spine apart so that the jelly like disc nucleus can “flow” back to its healthy central location.

    © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
    The origin of McKenzie Method Exercises for lower back pain..
    "Mr Smith had pain to the right of his low back, extending into the buttock and thigh as far as his knee... After three weeks of heat and ultrasound his condition had not improved. He had difficulty standing upright, he could bend forwards, but could not bend backwards. I told him to undress and lie face down on the treatment table, the end of which had been raised for a previous patient.... he lay face down with his back arched and over-stretched for some five minutes. When I returned... I was extremely concerned to find him lying in what at that time was considered to be a most damaging position. On enquiring as to his welfare, I was astounded to hear him say that this was the best he had been in three weeks. All pain had disappeared from his leg... the pain in the back had moved from the right side to the centre... [the man] found he could now bend backwards without having severe pain!!!"(R Mckenzie file notes see ref.2).
    (Note: For your safety, these notes are written conservatively. More info refer: mckenzie method certification, physical therapy

    1. Shirley A Sahrman: "Movement Impairment Syndromes" Publ. Mosby, 2002 ISBN 0-8016-7205-8
    2. Robin McKenzie: Treat Your Own Back, 5th Edition 1997 Publ.Spinal Publications, New Zealand.
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    The Back Maintenance Manual
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    1. Simon Kemp: Case report: an adolescent goalkeeper with extension-related low-back pain (