Patient Information

2   Professor Lorimer Mosely why things hurt video

3   Back pain – separating fact from fiction – Prof Peter O’Sullivan

4   All 4s Rocking Exercise

This is the best way to get your spine moving well but safely. It can work very well by doing it on the bed if you have difficulty getting up from the floor.

Do not do this if you have very bad knees.









  • Start on your hands and knees with hips directly over knees and hands under your shoulders.
  • Try to look up towards the ceiling as far as is comfortable and then gently rock back to try to get your backside onto your heels whilst simultaneously bringing your chin into your chest.
  • Do not hold this but come straight back up again to the start position.
  • If you have a neck problem only gradually build up neck movement or just keep your head in a comfortable position.
  • Do this 5 times but gradually increase this to 10 over the week.
  • Try to do this 3-4 times daily.

As with any exercise if this increases pain stop and let your healthcare practitioner know.

5   Diaphragm Breathing

Lay on your back with your knees bent and imagine that you are blowing up a balloon in your tummy. This should take between 6-8 secs. then slowly let the air out through the mouth for 6-8 seconds. Only your stomach should move and not your chest. Try to do this for 2 minutes at least twice a day, more if possible.

6   Rib grab

Lay on your left side with a pillow for your neck and draw the right hip up to 90 degrees and place a small pillow underneath it and hold your knee with your right hand. Try to make sure that the left leg is straight. Reach across your body with your right arm and grab your left ribs then twist round to try to look over your right shoulder ensuring that your right knee stays on the cushion and that your head remains on the pillow as wel. Hold this for 3 deep breaths and repeat 5 times. Then try this on the other side. Repeat 3-4 times daily.

Here is a link to a video of this. You can easily use a pillow rather than a roll.

7   Improve your sitting habit

Poor sitting posture can place an abnormally large stress on your back for long periods without you realising. It is estimated that by sitting in a slumped posture you can increase the loading through your low back by 1.75 times your body weight and your head weight can increase by four times, so improving this can make a really big difference.




Improve your sitting posture by:
► Sitting back on your pelvis
► Having adequate lumbar support (no space between spine and back of chair)
► Relaxing back into chair (so that you would fall off if the chair back was not there)
► Check this regularly with the chin/fist test to ensure that you are sitting well (fig 1)









Chin/Fist test

In 90% of all people your fist should fit into the gap between the chin and chest









Use micro breaking:

Make sure that you get out of your chair every 10-40 minutes (set your phone or use a timer) or sooner if this is uncomfortable, and just walk around it before sitting down again.

Convenience is not usually best; do not make things too easy. Move your phone and printer away from you so that you get out of the chair as often as possible and get up and speak to someone rather than e mail.

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