McKenzie Extension Lower Back Pain Relief Exercise – Lewis Craig
Low back pain is very common, with the 80% of the population likely to experience low back pain at some point during their lifetime. Most acute back pain, despite the nature or the severity of pain, is the result of a simple sprain, strain or irritation. The prognosis is excellent, with the most seeing significant improvements in the first few weeks and completely resolved within 3 months.
A great exercise that can be beneficial to aid the settling of low back pain is the Cobra or McKenzie Extension. Everyone’s back pain is different, however many types of back pain respond fantastically to this simple exercise. If you are experiencing back pain which is more uncomfortable first thing in the morning, or with forward bending positions, twisting or sitting then this may be a beneficial exercise. This exercise can also be great for people who find standing and walking around helps to ease their pain. This exercise can also be really helpful for some radicular pain, in which pain spreads (radiates) down your leg.
To complete the exercise, whilst standing perform repeated, gradual lumbar extension. This is a leaning back movement, as seen within the video. In this position you should find a gradual reduction in your leg or lower back pain. In some cases leg pain may decrease and low back pain may slightly increase, this is a good response for the exercise. The exercise can also be performed lying on your stomach. Using your hands and not the muscles through your lower back, gradually push up through your hands, arching your back. Gently repeat this movement. As you repeat it you should find it comfortable and gradually increase the amount of extension (arch) through your back. For more information follow the simple instructions and actions within the video.
Not all back pain is the same, however this exercise may be greatly beneficial for some. If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact your physiotherapist. #painfree