Friday, June 9, 2023

Spinal Articulation for Low Back Pain or Discomfort

June 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Fitness & Health

Do you do bridges?  If so, chances are that you’re not really doing your low back a huge favor, UNLESS you are doing them really well.  Try this 5 part series and see if you can heal or relieve back pain or discomfort:

Bridge with Low Back Articulation

  1. Starting Position:
  • Lie on floor in Supine Position, Knees Bent and slightly apart, feet flat on floor
  • Let the floor receive you – breathe and notice how you feel
  • Imagine you are taking a mental Polaroid – what does your back feel like on the floor?
  • Activate your arms – let them be heavy, your fingers reach toward your feet, thumbs up – feel the entire arm on the floor from your pinky fingers to your shoulders
  • Gently tuck chin to elongate cervical spine
  • This is your starting position – your neutral
  • Please don’t skip this step….be where you are, in the moment, in the healing space – a good set up is the foundation of creating this healing movement
  1. Do 2 pelvic tilts
  • Inhale in your neutral, exhale as if thru a tiny coffee straw (pursed lip breathing) and feel belly button sink towards floor
  • Inhale to release, allowing the pelvis back to “rock” back to neutral
  • Exhale one more pelvic tilt
  • You can put your pinky on your hip bone and your thumb on your lower rib, as you exhale into the pelvic tilt, feel the fingers coming together.
  • This movement is really initiated with the abdominal muscles. Visualize the insertion and attachment of the rectus abdominus at the sternum and pubic bone contracting with the exhale thereby rocking the pelvis as if tilting a bowl of water towards your tummy.
  • also – when moving pelvis into stretched (down) position, try to elongate neck by gently tucking chin – this is called a dorsal glide
  1. Do 2 pelvic rocks
  • Same as above, only allow your hips to come off of the floor just about ½ to 1 inch
  1. Do 2 three part bridges
  • To initiate bridge: Inhale in neutral spine.
  • Exhale and rock pelvis up towards sternum. Pelvic tilt to pelvic rock slowly up to bridge.
  • When hips are up, look toward knees to re-elongate neck.
  • Inhale at the top of the bridge.
  • As you being to exhale, lower slowly down no farther than 1/3 of the way (to about the nipple line.)
  • Pause at the end of the exhale and inhale fully.
  • Exhale slowly as you roll down to about your waist line
  • Pause and inhale there feeling where you are in your spine.
  • Exhale and roll down the rest of the way feeling every single vertebra in the low back against the floor.
  • At the end of the 2nd 3-part bridge, notice how you feel – this is your new neutral – pull out your Polaroid and compare how much of your back feels the floor
  • You are a pat of melting butter on the floor and you’ve created S P A C E in your spine, Yeah!
  1. Finish with 2 regular articulated bridges
  • Inhale at bottom, exhale slowly up
  • Inhale at top of bridge, exhale slowly down, paying special attention to low back
  • Notice how much more aware you are of your entire spine and how you can resist the FLOP of your low back as you lower down

Note:  Doing only 2 of each of these movements – well, slowly and mindfully – will make a profound difference in your form.

More is not better – more is more.  Consistency vs. Intensity!   If you do this simple exercise daily for about a week, then 1 or 2 times a week for the rest of your life, your low back will thank you.  Also, this can be a powerful tool in your back healing toolboxIf your low back feels fatigue or strain, pull your Articulation Tool out and focus on healing your back.

Sorry this post is so long, but it’s important to do each step mindfully.  Once you get this movement into your muscle memory, it flows easily and almost effortlessly.


One Response to “Spinal Articulation for Low Back Pain or Discomfort”
  1. Judy Wilson says:

    It’s great that there are spine articulation exercises that can help with my back pain. It seems that starting in neutral spine is a key part when starting several of these exercises. I think you’re right about how I should focus on consistency rather than intensity when trying this out, so I need to keep this in mind to keep my lower back safe. Thanks for the post!