Spinal Stability Exercise for Neck Pain and Low Back Pain

Posted by on Jul 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Opposite arm and leg raises on all fours is a comprehensive exercise which uses many muscles essential for core stability. The patient first engages the transversus abdominis by pulling the belly button gently towards the spine or inward. Upon raising the leg straight up behind the gluteals, hamstrings, deep spine stabilizers called the multifidi, and erector spinae contract. If the patient rotated the foot out the deep hip rotators are engaged. Upon raising the opposite arm there is co-contraction of the latissimus dorsi, scapula, and cervical spine muscles. The patient must remain stable in the trunk during the entire exercise. Weakness or instability is noted if shaking or movement to one side occurs. The pelvis must remain in neutral and be stable. Manual guidance and cues from us help the patient learn the strategy of the exercise. The position is held for 5-10 seconds per side and the movements are alternated meaning the other opposite arm and leg are raised throughout the exercise. We advise setting the pelvis and leg position first as it is the longer lever arm requiring more work from the body. Once the leg position is stable the arm can raise with the thumb pointing up. This engages more scapula muscles. Come see us for neck and low back pain.