The McKenzie Standing Lumbar

by Dr Oliver Hobkirk-Smith

low back pain can be avoided and alleviated

'flexion intolerance' is common in low back pain

The problem of 'flexion intolerance' (difficulty in forward bending of the spine) is a big issue for the majority of low back pain patients. Simple tasks like picking things up from the floor, leaning over a desk, driving or even just sitting can prove problematic at the best of times. If you have leg pain (sciatica for example) accompanying your back pain, sometimes a forward movement can cause the pain to be referred further down your leg. Odd sensations such as tingling and numbness can also accompany. This is termed as 'peripheralisation' of symptoms and is typically to be avoided if at all possible.

sciatica symptoms can often be helped by simple exercises

Sciatica symptoms can be helped by this exercise

On the contrary, 'centralisation' of symptoms (where the pain is confined to the back as much as possible) is to be aimed for. This can be achieved by the opposing movement to flexion; extension...

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