In my previous post, we began the series on my favorite exercises for back pain coming from sciatica that I give all my Physical Therapy patients in the Elizabeth and Jersey City clinics. We started out with a simple prone prop up on the elbows. Now that we've got the basic prone prop up on the elbows down pat, and once that exercise can be performed with absolutely no discomfort or pain, we can now follow the progression into the next motion:
Prone Press Up On The Hands
To reiterate, the reason why we at Complete Physical Rehabilitation like to start out with the prone prop up as opposed to directly with the prone press up (which a good number of Physical Therapists do), is because we found that the greatest possibility for minimizing both pain and further injury of the affected area came with starting with the prop up first. And as we all know, minimizing pain falls in line directly with my 3 Phases of Healing. Overall, it really depends on the severity of your case and what your own Physical Therapist recommends as well.
Begin in the starting position, lying on your stomach with your hands in the pushup position, at your sides and in line with your chest.
Keeping your hips and pelvis on floor, press up off the mat so that your whole upper body is off the mat. Maintain this position for approximately 5 seconds, then slowly lower your upper body back onto the mat. Remember to take a breath in while in the starting position, and then breathe out as you push your upper body up off the mat. Holding one's breathe is one of the biggest mistakes that I see with patients performing this exercise in Physical Therapy, as doing so creates tension in the body that could lead to further injury or increased pain.
If you're having trouble with this, try a variation. In the starting position, move your hands 6 inches forward to be more in line with your head or chin. This will lower the angle a bit when you attempt to push up in Step 2.
If you find that pain is significantly increasing as a result of performing this exercise, I suggest you contact your Physical Therapist immediately and try to get in for a Physical Therapy visit so that you can see what the issue is.
She is a McKenzie certified back pain Physical Therapist specialist, an LSVT BIG certified specialist for Parkinson's Disease, and also specializes in treating Vestibular conditions relating to vertigo, dizziness, and other balance disorders.