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Low Back Pain – Muscle Energy Technique

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This technique is based on a Sacroiliac technique from Jocelyn Olivier and her work with  Neuromuscular Reprogramming 

With your client supine bring your client’s knee up and medial. Place one hand under your client’s low back, fingers on the erector spinae muscles and your little finger on the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS – the medial prominence on the crest of the ilium).

Bring your client’s knee toward their chest until you feel the pelvis start to turn under.

Have your client inhale, then on the exhale pull their navel toward their spine, flattening their low back. At the same time have them push their knee toward their toes with 10% of their strength for 10 seconds while you resist this movement.

Now you should be able to bring your client’s knee closer toward their chest before feeling their pelvis turn under. Repeat the previous step and you may be able to get even more hip flexion.

I have found this to be very helpful for clients with low back pain. One of the causes of low back pain can be from the glutes being inhibited, causing the extensor muscles of the low back (quadratus lumborum and erector spinae) to work more to cause hip extension.

With hip extension there is an ideal firing order of muscles:

Opposite side Erector Spinae
Same side Erector Spinae

Variations in this firing order may be a factor in low back pain. If the glutes are not activating the muscles in the low back will be more involved in hip extension.

If the hip flexors are tight the glutes may be inhibited, so it is important to work first with stretching the hip flexors before activating the glutes.

This technique encourages hip extension while the low back extensors are being inhibited. In this way, it helps to reestablish the normal firing order of muscles for hip extension.

I created a video showing how this technique can be used for self-care.

Low Back Pain – Self Care

Related Videos:

Janda Hip Extension Assessment

More information about Vladimir Janda and his work is in the book 

Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach



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