Exercise of the week | The Standing Iliopsoas Stretch

Main objective: To lengthen the Illiopsoas muscle


  1. Stand with one leg bent and slightly forward.
  2. Internally rotate the back leg.


  1. Gently draw navel inward towards your spine. squeeze your buttocks, and tuck your chin and gently draw neck and head backward. (The draw-in maneuver)
  1. While maintaining the draw-in maneuver, slowly move your body forward until you feel a mild tension in the front of the hip being stretched.
  1. As a progression, slowly raise your arm (on the same side sane as the back leg) up an over to the opposite side, while maintaining your pelvis position. (fig.1)
  1. Hold the side bend position while you slowly rotate posteriorly. (fig.2)
  1. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  1. Repeat on the other side.

Make sure that you maintain the draw-maneuver during this stretch. This will reciprocally inhibit the Illiopsoas muscle, allowing for greater lengthening of the Illiopsoas muscle.

Download diagram and instructions for Week Five Standing Illiopsoas

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

The main objective: To stabilize the spine. This is first of a series of core stabilization exercises that are design to activate and strengthen the muscles that stabilize your core. It is essential that you learn how to correctly do this exercise before going to the next week’s core stabilization exercise. Download the diagram & details >

This move:

  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance
  • Safer Everyday Movement

Download the diagram & movement details

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

A lot of people complain about shooting pains that radiate from their hip or pelvis down their leg which goes down the sciatic nerve.  It can cause shooting pain, numbness or the feeling that your leg is falling asleep.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

There are various stretches and exercises you can do to alleviate and manage your level of pain and discomfort.

The first exercise is to stretch the leg by sitting on a hair.  You want to raise one leg and hold it up for five seconds.  This is called flossing.  Then you will keep doing leg lifts with the affected leg.  You might feels some sensations down the leg while you are doing this but it should decrease.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs

Simple Ways To Feel Better

The next exercise you can do is to be sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.  You might experience increased symptoms when you initially start doing this pose.  You are going to put your hands behind your head and then slump your arms and head forward.

You are going to hold this for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat four to five times. If this is too intense for you, you can also place your arms behind you on the floor and just lean back into your arms while keeping them straight.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs –  What To Do If You Have Chronic Pain

If you feel your symptoms in your leg from sciatica it probably is originating in your low back. You can then of your nerve as a garden hose and when you pinch the hose at the end of the hose no water will come out.   So you need  to diagnose sciatica properly to determine if your low back, pelvis or sacroiliac joint (your tail-bone) is what is causing your sciatic pain.  So addressing the other end of the sciatic nerve is what you need to do.  You can see a physical therapist, massage therapist or doctor in order to properly diagnose what is causing the pain.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs – How To Reduce Pain

Another pose you can do is to lay on the floor.  Put your legs up on a chair or even the couch and you will stay here prone on the floor for at least ten minutes.  You should start to feel less pain if you stay in this pose long enough.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs –  How To Relieve Pain Through Poses and Stretches

If the person has pain symptoms due to a herniated disc then here are some exercises you can do.    This position is called prone prop which is great if you also have symptoms down your leg as well.  There are two variations depending on your level of pain.  You can be laying on your stomach and prop up on your elbows like a sphinx.  You can stay here for one minute.

You can lay on your stomach.  Put a pillow under your arms with your elbows out and your clasped hands under your chin.  Stay here for thirty seconds. Before getting up from both of these exercises, slowly  lift one leg a few inches off the surface, hold it for two seconds and slowly lower your leg to the surface.  Repeat four five times then repeat on your other leg.  This stretches the illiopsoas muscles.

Top Exercises For Sciatica and Herniated Discs – Relieve Pain Without Medication or Surgery

The next pose is laying on your stomach.  You will then have your arms on the floor with you elbows in line with your rib cage and your hands in front.  Then press into your arms and lift your head up looking straight in front of you.  You can do another variation where you arms are elbows are closet up near your head and then you lift up through your arms.


How To Reduce Neck Pain

neck painOnce you have removed the causes of neck pain that come from having forward head position which is from poor sitting posture and poor standing posture you can start to do stretches and exercises to stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones.  When you have neck pain that also can cause headaches, shoulder pain or tightness and tingling in the arms.  Often people turn to massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture or more aggressive methods such as surgery or cortisone shots or pain medication.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – Good Sitting Posture

When you have good posture your muscles and bones are distributing weight evenly.  The lower vertebrae go into flexion when you have poor posture.  Imagine the disc in between your neck are being squeezed out improperly like a balloon.  You have ligaments trying to hold the disc in it’s proper place.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – Disc Bulges and Pinched Nerves 

If the bulging disc start to go backward there are nerves back there that will cause your neck, your shoulder and even your arms to hurt or you might feel a tingling sensation down your arm.  You need to get this disc away from the nerve so it can be in it’s proper position and alignment by pushing the disc the other direction.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – How To Eliminate Pressure From The Nerve

If you can extend the disc in the other direction then it will extend the disc to go the other direction and take pressure off the nerve.  What you will be looking for is a reduction in symtoms down your arms such as tingling.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – Stretches and Exercise To Reduce Discomfort

When you a do a move call the double chin which is when you retract your head back.  When you a do a move call the double chin which is when you tuck your chin and slowly retract your head and neck backward as far as you comfortably can and slowly return to the starting position.  Do this move every waking hour ten times.

After doing this moves repeatedly all day long you should start to notice a reduction in symtoms until you have no more symtons in your arms, shoulder or neck.

Another stretch you can to is to hold the side of your head and gently and with out forcing pull your head over to one ear.  You want to hold this for ten seconds.  Then you will do this for the other side as well.  Then you will want to stretch your head forward and then diagonally and to the side.

Another exercise is to slowly tuck your chin in and slowly make small 10 circles with your chin without tilting your head.  Do ten circles clockwise and then ten circles counterclockwise.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – Proper Sleeping Positions

You want to make sure that you are sleeping on your back or on your side but you should not be sleeping on your stomach.  If you sleep on your side you need to make sure your head is level with the rest of you spine.  If you have a specially designed cervical pillow then the pillow will assure your neck is properly supported.

Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your neck since it compromises proper alignment and the neck won’t be supported properly.  You’ll also ending up stressing your lumbar spine as well by sleeping on your stomach.

How To Reduce Neck Pain – Summary

So to reduce neck pain this is what you need to do.

  • Have correct posture when sitting for prolonged periods at a time such as when working at a computer
  • Avoid having a forward head and slouch posture while sitting.  Try to sit up instead of sitting down.
  • Do the double chin protraction move several times throughout the day
  • Slowly do the chin tuck head circles throughout the day.
  • Slowly move your body while working at the computer.  Wiggle your hips, slowly rotate your shoulders, make circles with wrists and ankles, etc.


What Are The Major Causes of Neck Pain?

There are many things that can cause neck pain.  Poor posture that comes from sitting in a chair all day, or looking down at a smart phone all day long or spending a long time driving in the car with poor posture.  Even if you get massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy or acupuncture you will continue to damage and hurt yourself if you don’t start to use proper body mechanics.

Causes of Neck Pain

Causes of Neck Pain

Causes of Neck Pain – Forward Head Posture

“The forward head posture” is often a major culprit to neck pain causes.

Your ear should be centered over your shoulder so if you dropped a rock from your ear it would drop exactly on your shoulder.  This mean when you are sitting in a chair you can not slouch back.  You need to be actively sitting which mean that you are not hunched over.

If you are slouched over in a chair when you are on the computer that creates an extra 20 pounds of weight for your cervical spine.  Your eight to ten pound head will feel more weightless for the rest of your spine.  If you let your head go forward then this will create extra twenty or thirty pounds of stress which your neck is not designed to do.This can lead to herniated cervical discs, pinched nerves and muscle tightness.

The Mayo Clinic says that that having a forward head posture when driving and sitting can create long term muscle straines and pinched nerves.

Causes of Neck Pain – Bad Sitting Posture

So how can you correct getting back to correct neck posture?  When you are sitting, it must start at your lower back.  You can only have good neck posture when your entire spine is in the correct position.  Having a lumbar roll at your low back at your seat will help to reinforce having correct spinal alignment.  If you can drop a rock from your chin onto your chest and not onto the floor.

Causes of Neck Pain – Sitting and Standing Properly

One of the easiest ways to remember to have good neck posture is to remember to sit tall.  Often when you sit up tall, you should feel like you are enlongating through the crown of your head.

Causes of Neck Pain – Sitting in Front of a Computer Improperly

When you are in front of the computer you should not be reaching far in front of you to see your computer.  Make sure your mouse is not too far away.   If you have to look down at the keys to type then you should consider having the keyboard higher so you don’t have to let your head drop which can affect your neck posture. Your wrist should be flat and your elbows should be level with the keyboard.

This posture will feel strange when you first start to do it.  The more you get in the habit of sitting correctly the more natural it will feel.  Enroll your family and friends in encouraging you to have proper posture when sitting or driving.

Causes of Neck Pain – Remember To Stand Properly 

Having prolonger poor posture will not only result in neck pain but can also result in back pain.  The other thing you need to remember to do is to stand tall. When you are standing a rock should be able to drop from your ear to your shoulder.  Feel like someone is pulling a hair on the top of your head and just gently elongating you.

Causes of Neck Pain  – Final Thoughts 

So in summary remember to

  • Sit and Stand Tall
  • Stay our of the forward head position
  • Remember that good sitting posture starts at the low back
  • The forward head position lead sto long term muscle strains, disc herniations and pinched nerves.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Most people suffer from low back pain at some point. Often the pain will go away in a matter of weeks. But in some cases the pain can be severe and never seem to go away.Your lower back is an elaborate space where joints, disks, vertebrae, ligaments, muscles and nerve tissue come together to allow you your mobility.   Your low back pain can come as a result of lifting or bending the wrong way, sitting too long in a bad position, carrying heavy stuff, and stress due to muscle tension from extreme activity.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica – How To Treat It

Massage therapy has proven to be an effective back pain treatment. By applying hands-on pressure to your muscles, you will begin to heal and the pain will go away.

In some cases, the pain can radiate down your legs and this symptom is known as sciatica. The cause is what is commonly known as a slipped disc where your sciatic nerve becomes pinched.

Main Line Massage Therapy for Back Pain and Sciatica – How To Get Relief

Relief for sciatica can be found in massage therapy, where muscle spasms are broken apart so oxygen and nutrients can flow to the affected area and healing can begin. The massage also relaxes your muscles while lengthening them so tension subsides.

And to prevent your back pain and sciatica from returning, you will be taught helpful strengthening and stretching techniques you can do at home.  Orthopedic Massage combines several massage therapy techniques—including Sports Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Soft-Tissue Release, Active and Facilitated Stretching, Hot Stone Massage and Deep Tissue Massage. Orthopedic Massage has three main parts: 1. Assessment, 2. Treatment (body work) and 3. Client self-care program. The goal is to bring the client back into proper muscle balance in order to keep the client generally healthy and fit.