Lateral Lumbar Flexion (Side bending)

If you don’t experience any changes up to this point, try side bending; that is, bending your spine sideways to the left or right side.  This can be done standing up or sitting down.

To do side bending, imagine making your spine the shape of a palm tree bending in strong wind.  It is best to do this standing, so stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Stand straight as you can (no slouching, no forward head posture).

NOTE:  Be careful not to simply lean to the side; you want to create a bowing shape of your lumbar spine so stabilize your pelvis (keep it stationary) during this exercise and let your lumbar spine bear all of the movement.

To bend to the left, slide your left hand down the side of your left leg as far as you can go WITHOUT bending your torso forward.  Maintain your torso in the upright position.  In orthopedics, this is called the sagittal plane.  Do not break the sagittal plane with any part of your body during this movement.

Another way to side bend your lumbar spine is to brace yourself in a doorway and lean your hips towards one side while keeping your feet close together and stationary:


NEXT:  Should You Bend Towards or Away from the Painful Side?

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