Tired of doing McKenzie Press-ups?

It’s time to look at another direction of motion.

Why this matters:

Most rehabilitation programs are going to focus on adding in prone press-ups or back bends in a sciatica recovery program. They may work if you have a herniated disc, but will make symptoms worse in spinal stenosis. In some cases, the improvement in pain stalls out. So what do you do? Focus on increasing the rep scheme to 20? 30? You certainly can do this, but would it be a waste of time? It really depends on how your pain behaves. If you increase the rep scheme to 20 or 30, and the pain truly goes away, then absolutely. But if the back bends don’t have any effect on your symptoms, it doesn’t make sense to do more.

Once we exhaust one plane of motion, we need to look at another plane of motion. I recommend looking at side bending. This motion can reduce a herniation out to the side (by leaning towards the side of herniation), or open up a space that’s pinching on the nerves (by leaning away from the side of pain). The symptom behaviors, not the MRI will determine the direction.

Action steps:

On page 8 of my ebook, I talk about the tea cup exercise. In essence you are leaning in one direction, either right or left. Your symptoms will tell you which direction is better.

This can be helpful if you’ve exhausted the back bends.


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