Low Back Pain Relief: Spinal mobilization using your own hands (Part 2)

Low Back Pain Relief: Spinal mobilization using your own hands (Part 2)


Right, so this is made mobilizing my own spine, which is easy enough to teach you how to do. Although you never really feel that you’re getting it right! I’ve actually broken my back in the past, so I can actually feel more than you feel you will probably think you can feel. Now, you can see the dimple there that’s the sacroliac joint on both sides and then there’s the sacrum which is this triangular bone at the base, and then L5 sits on top of the sacrum. Now, you use your fingers to trace up from the sacrum and you’ll feel (a little) it’s always hard to feel L5 and it always feels a bit sensitive. And you can feel it there with your fingertips, in a bleary sort of way, at the bottom of that trough. That’s L5. It’s like a tiny little pee. Now what you will do – the thing is that you do need quite short fingernails to mobilise – but I’ll be showing you in a minute how you can use your knuckles. So, what you might do is just trace up . . . there’s L5, there’s L4 – so there’s not much travel – there’s L3. Now that’s the one (that I mobile) that I broke so that feels very bulky, which it is. L2. I’ve also got a very slight scoliosis – that way – so when I feel from this side, it’s loath to go compared to that side. Now, I can’t get much pressure up – neither will you – but what’s amazing is how just touching each vertebra feels so different. Now this is just going up and down the spinous processes and you’ll be amazed how each spinous process when you touch it has a different sort of ‘note’ of pain, like a different musical note. Now that’s getting up to L1. I do a lot of work on my computer in bed slumped, like a deckchair – it’s terrible way to sit – so I’m starting to get trouble up here. And if you do the same, you’ll . . . . feel what I feel. That also feels a bit ‘icky’. So, when you’re mobilizing you’re not using an in-and-out pressure, you’re always using a left or right pressure. So I’m hooking under from below and I’m pulling upwards – L3, L4 and L5. Now, L5 is hard to get and I really have to dig in there, with my middle finger and pull it up. When I go from left to ride I’m pushing the tip of my little finger, my middle finger I should say and pushing away. Now, I’m hardly getting any movement, but it’s amazingly effective, you doing this yourself. Do it in side-lying like I am and you can do it on both sides. See what suits you best . . . . Sometimes if you’ve got a sore shoulder it’s actually not that easy to get back. So do it from the other side, so you are using your better shoulder. Now that’s doing up and down the spinous processes which are the knobs. Now I’m going to show you how you do the facet joints. Getting the L5-S1facet joint you’re really better using your thumb And you can feel it . . . a sort of ‘delicious’ because remember facet joints love being pierced. Now that’s the L5 facet joint, right in there. That’s the pressure; I’m reinforcing the power of my thumb with my other fingers. There it is. Not so much going on in my L5 There’s more at my L4-5, and there it is. And boy! It feels good to find it. And, look, there’s a tiny little area of thickening in the corner of the spine there: if you think of the spine being like a sort of ‘bicycle chain’ but then, to mix my metaphors here, that thickness feels like – you know how on Christmas cards they show snow collecting in the corner of a georgian windowpane – that’s where . . . if I push right in I actually feel with my thumb that thickening which is s-o-r-e. And that’s where I want to be. And I just stay there and I oscillate in and out. And then I might go up and change to using my fingertips because it’s hard work working from this angle. And I’m using the tip of my middle finger on the facet joint but there between 3 and 4 and then I’ll go one level higher, using my fingertip too. But you can also use your knuckle like that. And you can then alternate; go back to working on the spinous process. And you would only do a couple of minutes this is a long treatment! But you’ll find that especially if you’re uncomfortable in bed, but also just giving yourself a treatment – say once or twice a week – will make a huge difference. Now I’m pushing in there to the facet joint between L2 and L3 on my right. I can’t feel much on my left. Now you may be able to see – obviously I can’t – that my thumb goes in deeper that side because I’ve got no trouble there. It pierces deeper, whereas on this side doesn’t go in as far and that’s because there’s the thickening around that facet joint. But you still work on it. Now that will make a difference to your back say twice a week and there you go. Now you just might rock yourself afterwards, just to calm everything. That could stir up pain down your leg into your bottom. Remember, this is the ‘wiggly wiggly’ that I love you to do, that wakes up multifidus. It also calms the muscles – the long cable muscles these big bulky ones – by waking up multifidus. And there you go.

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