Sunday, September 19, 2010


Rocking The Knees To Your Chest | Exercise For Treating Your Back Pain

Adequate rest and any necessary drug therapy is the primary for treating your back pain. However once your primary treatment is over, the following exercises reverse the structural and physiological changes of the motion segment. Basic theoretical treatment regimens, using various combinations of the exercises for specific back disorders.One such exercise is, Rocking the knees to your chest.

Rocking the knees to your chest
This is the ultimate ‘appeasing’ exercise. It is the least taxing and therefore least frightening exercise in the early loosening of a jammed segment. It is performed in the horizontal supine position to eliminate compression of the spine.

The primary function of the knees-rocking exercise is to fan open the posterior compartments of the spine like flaring out a deck of cards. The action stretches the muscles down the back of your spine when their tonic hold has pulled the interspaces shut. Releasing the muscles un-jams the facets and releases the pincer effect on the intervertebral disc. Thus the passive stretching inhibits the additional closing down effect across the inflamed vertebral segment. By providing ‘active’ decompression it produces the first glimmer of the spine lifting off the compressed segments. It is a very efficient first-base exercise.

Rocking the knees to the chest is very effective if you have just jarred your spine or hurt it in some way. Rocking has an immediate neurophysiological ‘switching off ’ effect which defuses the alarm and preempts the local muscles locking up the spine. The to-and-fro rocking action familiarises your back with movement again so it doesn’t have time to get stiff. It keeps your back moving in a nonthreatening way and encourages the fundamental physiologies— active disc metabolism, unhindered blood flow and proper drainage— to resume. Disc nutrition is enhanced by incremental amounts of fluid being pumped through, while the pressure changes stimulate the synthesis of proteoglycans which thereafter provides a more active osmotic pump.

Simple as it sounds, rocking the knees is often difficult to get started, let alone do well. If your back is in acute distress it is not easy to get the knees to the chest. Your legs feel heavy and your spine is loath to bend, and you may get stabs of pain as you grapple with lifting your thighs. As the spine starts to round more easily, your hip joints often complain about being bunched onto the chest. It may be more comfortable for the hips if you allow your knees to part widely around the abdomen. (You may also find that one leg is more comfortable doing this movement than the other.) 

With the more chronic disorders, where your lower back may have been stiff for decades, the cement-like rigidity is often unwilling to yield. The lower segments move as a rigid block, with all the hinging taking place at the hips and the upper lumbar levels. As the segments ease apart, your back starts to round more easily.

The emphasis with rocking the knees is to keep the movement as subtle as possible with the arc of movement only a few centimetres. 

Don’t be tempted to tug at your knees with the muscles in your neck standing up. Don’t jab your head up to meet the knees. Leave your head and shoulders calm and relaxed on the floor and gently oscillate your legs with the fingers interlaced around both knees. As your back relaxes, a sense of movement will dawn, like a piece of frozen meat thawing. The tightness will fade as you feel the vertebrae gapping open at the back. Don’t hurry and try to imagine the vertebrae segments pulling apart.

The correct way of rocking the knees to the chest
  • Lie on your back on the bed or on a soft surface on the floor. 
  • Brace your low back by sucking your navel in hard. If your tummy is weak, push in with one hand on the front of the tummy for reinforcement.
  • With the other hand behind your thigh, pull one leg up to the chest. As soon as one foot is off the bed you can use both hands to pull the leg onto the chest.
  • Bracing your tummy in the same way, pull the other leg onto your chest. Crossing your ankles makes the legs less unwieldy.
  • Cup a hand over each knee and then move your legs so the thighs rest at 90ยบ. Oscillate gently in this position, with the movement almost imperceptible.
  • For high lumbar problems, take your knees closer in to your chest.
If your hips are tight you can cross your ankles and link your wrists across your upper shins and oscillate in this position.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :