McKenzie Extension Exercise

For acute or chronic low back pain.

Lie face down with your head forward. Straighten your elbows and push the top half of your body up as far as pain permits. If you get a sharp pain in the low back, lower your body closer to the ground until the pain stops. It is important to completely relax the pelvis, hips and legs as you do this. Keep your pelvis, hips and legs hanging limp and allow your back to sag. After a second or two, lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat and try to raise your upper body a little higher each time.

Repeat 10 times and do this exercise six to eight times a day.


Neck Retraction Exercise

To correct head position and relieve neck pain.

This exercise is best done against resistance such as a soft ball, cushion or the headrest in your car.

Sit on a chair or stool, look straight ahead, and allow yourself to relax completely. Move your head slowly but steadily backward until it is pulled back as far as you can manage. Keep your chin tucked down and in. Then relax and repeat. Increase effectiveness by placing both hands on the chin and firmly pushing the head even farther back.

Repeat 10 times per session and repeat sessions every 2 hours throughout the day. If you experience pain during this exercise, do it lying down on your back on the bed.

Note: you can do side-bending (for one-sided neck pain) and rotation of the neck while in the retracted position.