Absolute Best Exercise for Sciatica & Herniated Disc- McKenzie Approach.

Absolute Best Exercise for Sciatica & Herniated Disc- McKenzie Approach.


♪ Bob and Brad the two most famous ♪ ♪physical therapist on the internet♪ -Hi, I’m Bob Schrupp physical therapist
-Brad Heineck physical therapist -Together we are the most famous physical therapists on the internet
-In our opinion of course, Bob Alright, let’s get going Brad!
Today we’re gonna talk about the absolute best exercise for Sciatica and a herniated disc
-wow Well I mean– we’re not exaggerating here are we? -Nah, this is– this is proven, yeah And if you had a choice of what you’re going to do with somebody, this would be it, right? This would be my first try, yeah
-Absolutely And it’s the McKenzie approach, or McKenzie exercise Invented by Robin McKenzie, he invented this in the– he came up with this in the 60’s And basically he discovered is that by
[jingling off screen] Doing a— Doing– certain movements of exercises– I’m sorry.
I got a little distracted by a dog back there. [laughing But by doing certain exercises you can actually centralize pain. Centralize. What are we talking about, Bob?
-We’re going to show you right now. So, this is for people that have back pain with associated pain, numbness tingling, down their leg. -Yeah
-Should I stand, or…?
-Yeah, why don’t you stand… -Should I just do this?
-Okay, there we go! Alright. So, when you have sciatica, quite often you’re gonna have pain in the back, and then it travels all the way down the leg.
What he discovered, is by doing certain exercises, you can actually make that pain go out of the leg, and back into the back. And eventually, it’s going to go away if it goes into the back.
-Right So what happens is, when you’re doing exercises, what you want to see first is that maybe it goes out of the calf. Of course, I’m having trouble right away,, Brad [Brad] That feels better.
-Yeah, so it goes out of the calf.
All of the symptoms go out the calf. Then we do some more exercises, and now it goes out of the thigh. Okay, we do some more exercises and it goes out of the butt. It’s– it may be even a little worse in the back, but eventually this goes away, too. This all goes away.
[Brad] And it’s important to mention, that’s the order you want it to come in. You don’t want it to leave here, but still be in the calf. -Yeah, the worst sign with somebody, when they have Sciatica, is when this goes away, and this gets worse or stays around
-Right That’s not what we want to see.
[Brad] And the.. the prognosis is if you can do the exercise that we’re going to demonstrate, and the leg pain improves quickly It’s a very good sign that you’re going to have good long-term success with this We’re going to show you at the end of this– We’re going to show the exercise now, the basic McKenzie
-Right At the end of this video, we’re going to show you then a disc– what happens with the disc when we’re doing these exercise, so you can kind of have an idea. I’ll do this, do you want me to do this?
[Brad] Oh, go ahead Bob. You’re better at this than I– So what are you going to first start by doing when you have this, when you have a McKenzie therapist, they’re gonna tell you to start by laying–
just laying prone like this. Now, for some people, even this they can’t do.
-Right This this will even make their pain worse So, they actually have to start with a pillow
underneath them -Like that
-And then you can lay here more comfortably or comfortably Sometimes two pillows, I’ve even had to put three pillows underneath somebody A lot of times, I’ll put the pillows this way instead of this way, but you do whatever works. Yeah, I’ve done it both ways, Brad So then, you want to lay that way for 5 minutes or 30 seconds or whatever, and then you see if you can pull the pillow away and get like this.
-Right Okay, and then eventually, you know, you can try for thirty seconds or so– There’s no magic to the time of this, but then you eventually you might get up onto your elbows, which is a prone prop.
-Right, and this is assuming– You only do this if the leg pain and symptoms improve, particularly below the knee, or the furthest away. If they don’t improve, at least they don’t get worse, right?
-Right. But, we’re hoping that you might get a little improvement even. That you might start feeling less tingling or less pain down there. Then, you’re going to go progress to the actual exercise, where you’re going to put your hands underneath your shoulders And you’re going to do– I would say a half press up first, wouldn’t you, Brad? Yeah, whatever is tolerated I like to say. and if you do 5 or 10 of them,
by the 5th or 10th one, it’s getting easier, the pain in the leg,
or the symptoms in the leg I should say, cuz it could be numbness or tingling, improves, and you can get a little bit higher.
-Then you can go even higher. What you’re not going to do here is this….
-Right You’re looking to get an arch in the back.
You’ve got to get the arch. -That’s critical.
-Yeah, I tell my patients, imagine there’s a belt going around your waistline, holding your waistline to the table or the floor.
-And eventually, sometimes that’s what we do to people. -Yep, that’s true Again, you do half press-ups, and then eventually you’re going to see if you can do full press-ups. -Right
-And most of you won’t be able to do that, because your pelvis is gonna start to come off the bed, because you’re going to eventually work up to that. And you know, as an exercise, you can do this 3- to 5- times a day, 10 times… I’ve even had people do it as many as every hour, if they can do it and they have the time
-Sure, if things are going well with it. Yeah, and if things are going well.
Now, what you should know though, is that quite often, it doesn’t go that well. Quite often, there has to be little adjustments that have to be made, and that’s where you’re going to need to find a McKenzie-trained therapist.
-Sure We’re going to show you that in the next video, how to do that. But right now, why don’t we show, Brad, what we’re doing–You wanna grab the… cups there? [Brad] So, there is McKenzie-trained therapists throughout the world We counted at 38 countries throughout the world, and that’s how you can find if they live near you, so you can get one– There’s these therapists– they’re good, and they’re experienced. Right, so we’ve got the lower vertebrae here… Do you want to show it on here, Brad?
-Sure So… You want to run up to the camera to show real quick? Ok, so we’re looking– if we have an injured disc causing the symptoms down the leg, this red disc You don’t have a red disc in your back, but that is a model of a bulging disc right there.
Can you see that, Lani? okay? We need to get that bulge back in, because that bulge is pinching the nerve, causing the symptoms down the leg. So, generally what you have– again this would be
L4 and L5, the two lower vertebrae of the back and in between it you have the disc, which is… You know, it actually provides shock absorption.
-Right. It’s not a very– it’s not a rigid structure it’s actually pliable, similar to this model. And what happens is, whenever you bend forward–
and that’s one of the McKenzie questions they’ll ask you to see if it’s appropriate for you–When you bend forward does that often give you trouble? and does that bring on your symptoms? -Or does does sitting?
-Or does sitting, yeah. And what happens is– what you’ll see if you keep bending forward, bending forward It’s fine on a healthy disc, but on a disc that start starting to… -Ooo, that’s a good good example..
-It’s starting to weaken or get… Are you picking this up, Lani, by the way? A disc that’s starting to weaken can actually bulge or herniate towards the back, and there’s nerves back there. and it’s hitting those nerves, and it’s sending pain down. So, conversely the idea is that if you bend back this way, you’re pushing that bulge back in -Yeah, I like to see that, Bob. Push it back like this, it takes the pressure off the nerve. So that’s a very simplified version of what’s going on, but that’s hopefully what is going to happen to you
-Right And again, you know you can try these things, but you really may need a therapist in the end
to help you out Yep, exactly So, we’re going to show them that video on how to find one if there is one near them. -We’ll do that one next! Oh, yeah, next! [laughing]
-Alright, thanks a lot wow

100 thoughts on “Absolute Best Exercise for Sciatica & Herniated Disc- McKenzie Approach.”

  1. Is it a bad sign if I cannot complete the stretch all the way? I get fairly high up but I can’t go past a certain point.

  2. Hello guys. I suffer from herniated disc 2 months now and my left leg is pain to much. I try to do this McKenzie exercises but when I do that thing I feel pain on my leg and is not possible to continue the exercise for more than 10 seconds. Any idea

  3. ok, you guys are the greatest! I began watching for tips for my husband who has neck and back pain and carpal tunnel. But THEN! I screwed up my back a few weeks ago by being overzealous about my new year's resolution to exercise more. I knew I pushed my limits when my back began hurting so I took a week off and did only yoga. BUT! I got worse one day to the point I could hardly move and my lower back pain was horrible. My husband suggested that I could have a herniated disk, so I checked out this video and all of your other ones related. I realized that doing my yoga exercises were exasperating my condition because of the forward bending. So I began doing the MacKenzie extensions every hour during my waking day, along with using our inversion table, sitting only with lumbar support, and icing periodically. It is day 3 and I am feeling some major relief. I must be on the right regimen, so thank you so much! I realize that I have not been diagnosed, but I thought doing the MacKenzie and icing and inversion would not hurt. I wanted to give it a try and if I didn't feel different, I was heading to the chiropractor. But things are looking good today, not 100% by any means, but I am more mobile and have way less pain. I have a brand new understanding of my back and which exercises to avoid and what to do when I make a mistake. I want to extend a big virtual long distance hug to you both!

  4. I am going to try this many times a day for a lifetime- or what's left. Hopefully I can aquire a lot more flexability.

  5. Thank you. I've got that problem (degenerative disc) and I have used those exercises for many years (I don't remember where I learned it). Do you have more for the higher back (above L5)?
    Because doctors don't seem to know how to deal with chronic pain. Every day, all day and night. I hurt so much I feel that I'm loosing my mind sometimes. From 1 to 10 how is your pain today? About 25! Just learning that I have to live with this for the rest of my life is daunting!
    ….and I'm not the only one, many feel the same way.

  6. I'm telling you you guys really know your stuff because this exercise is the absolute only thing that is taking that pain completely away for awhile of course it sneaks back up on you comes with a vengeance 2 but that exercise is freaking awesome I've been doing it since yesterday I saw this video and I have not stopped doing this exercise since I'm wondering how long this pain is going to stay though

  7. I have disc l2 and l3 but i have pain on my left hip , the front and outer side of my left thigh down to knee only( I dont have any on the back side). The pain comes on some movements like jumping , running, going up stairs, standing from setting. and on some exercise such as plank.
    Do you advice me to do this approach? Also is it from the disc?

  8. Spinal DISK Herniation -=- treated our folk Healer for three days the pain was removed and for weeks cured all hernia.!! – (Contact……Facebook).

  9. Totally makes it worse..best thing for sciatic is rest…dont arch its a f**kin nightmare….dont do these.

  10. So at 7:40….Thats what I'm experiencing…. No lower back pain but numbness in my ankle, lower inside calf, Hamstring and Quad numbness and pain. Your thoughts please. Sometimes when I do my exercises….It get worst down the leg

  11. Thanks for vid. It does look painfull the way your model pinches what is already pinched ! I lean forward and turn toward side and my spine gets stuck at lowest part of back where i have a pars fracture. Please somebody tell me if this exercise is good or bad for me !! !!

  12. To people who watch this. Yeah exercise is very effective. I found out yoga helped me alot. My pain is totally gone. Please do yoga and you will see your sciatica pain disappear

  13. Tried it,did it 2 times,couldn't do it anymore.Too Painful. Like my body stopped the 3rd time. My Primary Doctor has ignored me.I don't know whats injured. Have History of L4,L5,S1, being Bulged and Herniated in years past. Last time was L5,S1,and that was 7 years ago. This round is a Month long. Go to Pain Management in 4 days.Is better than a week ago.

  14. I’ve been living for months (maybe even a year) with what I thought was a tight hamstring. I’ve been going to chiro and working with a private yoga instructor and neither has helped. Your videos not only helped me figure out that it wasn’t piriformis syndrome but likely a nerve issue instead, but with only one round of the push up stretch from lying on my stomach, I don’t have any of the pain and tightness that has been haunting me. Thank you! I feel like I have a new lease on life. You guys are the best!

  15. What about the flexion rotation exercise? My pain level is medium and mostly in my butt with some radiation down the leg to the foot. I'm having sciatic nerve pain after doing long distance skateboarding pushing just with one foot. My pain is in my onboard foot side. I am also learning to push with both feet from the advise of many other long distance skateboarders. Using good and regular stretching (and some supplements like collegen or fish oil) and backing off on the board time, what kind of healing time range might I see? Thanks. (BTW – you were recommended to me by other long distance skateboarders.)

  16. Okay. So my pain is just in my back. But why doesn't it disappear after months of exercise (never had pain below the hip in a first place)

  17. Thank you, guys. I have a condition of the annular tear with mild compression on the thecal sac. With these exercises would I be able to go back to a workout routine? Or should I avoid some exercises in future? Like squat etc.

  18. This type of pain is my life with me having caught Bechterews. But there so much to do about the pain, inflammation and stiffness! This yoga-pose they're showing, the cobra, you have to be really careful with. Take it gradually, and maybe not everyday. Take it easy.

  19. Thank you very much for this Vvlog , i hawe the exact ploblem L4- 2 protuzion and L5 4 -protuzion and my left leg i cant walk normaly and i am in pain .
    My weight is 102 kg and tall 184 centimetre , my RMN is ok but 1 Doctor say i must make a surgery and another say to me to lose weight ,walk and make exercise and Do Not Make a surgery

  20. Thank you for the info can I ask if it’s safe to do this exercise even if you have spinal stenosis?

  21. I have 2 lumbar herniated discs that also causes sciatica pain, as well as spinal stenosis. Can you recommend something for me? I feel so lost unable to do anything at the age of 50. Love you guys!

  22. I do powerlifting and yoga has an exercise where im inverted and hyperextend the back similarly. I started to add these in daily as well. They dont feel bad but they are difficult and i notice my back gets fatigued quickly. Assuming that I am using good form and keeping up with these exercises. Should i be able to maintain good disc health or are they likely to wear down from tension anyway

  23. Both of you are amazing. Don't even need to spend that money at the local physio and I get the same information!

  24. Omg I hate this pain I’m 16 and 6foot tall and I swear this pain is killing me !!! I can’t even walk right, when I sneeze and cough I have to like get a hunchback in order to minimize the pain😭😭 I’m going to start doing these exercises to see if maybe they help

  25. Hi Sir, You Both Are Awesome.

    I've have disc Herniation at L5/S1 i have lower back pain and the pain goes down to my right leg.
    I've been doing Mckenzie Exercise for a month it was good, but now since a week whenever i do the Mckenzie exercise i feel some pain in my Left leg. Would you please give me any advice about that?

  26. I have the opposite situation. When I bend forward I don’t feel the pain but it’s when I bend backwards (doing the copra). What does that mean?

  27. Exercises help alleviate but I've tiredness drain from the throbbing and tingling in MY feet the trouble sitting in a back office specialist chair … and driving is a killer

  28. My back has been better because I used this sciatica pain guide, 4SciaticaPainCure.blogspot.com That is genuinely a big deal to me because I have worked with many, many guides and also my back still hurts after each a different one. I cannot believe I have found the solution for my sciatica problem I am hoping this relief would last!.

  29. Please give us exercises for Thoracic herniated disk. Mine bears right. My pain shoots down the abdomen and radiates under my left arm

  30. Ok, so if the pain goes away from the leg, the butt, mostly from the back too, but lingers viciously in the foot….. then what?

  31. I actually own the Mckenzie back book. I do the exercise that you demonstrated, but my pain is only in my butt. What gives? Is there any other exercise I can be doing? Thanks for a response.

  32. Is it possible for a herniated lumbar disc to cause peripheral neuropathy both legs? I haven't started PT yet. MRI shows herniated c5,6 and lumbar disc (don't recall the number). In this video the green ball is bulging outward or inward towards the organs? Why does constipation make the lumbar symptoms worse?

  33. I did this before and after my last surgery. It really helped. My left leg is hurting down the outer part of my calf almost to my ankle. It begins at the left of my spine just atop the left buttock. It hurts to press there. I cant do this move because once i get to rest on my elbows, the pain in that area just above my butt is very intense. Is this likely a disc or piriformis? I have another mri the 19th but just curious to your opinion.

  34. Tried the Mackenzie treatment…works like magic…thanks guys for relieving my pain…not being able to exercise would be very tough for me mentally…so thanks again..

  35. How about if you have a herniated disks amd spinal stenosis?
    That is a check mate
    Cant flex nor extend the back
    I am in pain

  36. I herniated a lumbar disc 10 yrs ago and would experience sciatic pain every now and then, but with this exercise it would subside quickly and I'd be fine. In May I traveled internationally and have had constant sciatic pain in the buttocks on my left side radiating down the leg. I'm seeing my chiropractor but nothing I seem to do now gives me relief. I believe it is from sitting for long periods of time on flights. Any suggestions/alternatives? It is making me depressed. Thanks

  37. what if the pain is only in the lower back and not in the leg, still a good exercise to do? thanks for the video!

  38. Would this be recommended for stable spondylolisthesis (L-4/L-5) approx 40% slipped? Or would it be a terrible/unsafe idea?

  39. Thank you so much im having this problem went to the chiropractor and he adjusted me an took x rays and told me i gad my L5 pinching my nerves cave me a few stretches to do but none felt like they were going to help much this feels much better like its going to work for me

  40. Great video guys! I have sciatic pain from having herniated discs in the lower back like the L5 area and I will start to do this exercise. Can I continue to use the Bowflex Max Trainer? It is an elliptical/stepper that has helped me lose weight.

  41. Guys, I mean doctors, I just watched this video. I now have hope. It looks like I can reverse my sciatica, as I have pain daily and it affects my life tremendously. I plan on introducing this exercise into my life. Your demonstrations just make sense.

  42. Hey. What do i do if my back pain is only centralized since the beginning.? Really hoping for a good reply, have been suffering from L4-L5 bulging disc since 5 years.

  43. Do you think an inversion table is a good tool to assist with back pain? Or is it just another fad piece of equipment?

  44. Can this help if you have spondylolisthesis? I’m at about a level 3 and both my sciatica pain and back pain are chronic

  45. . . Inversion tables fix sciatica too. Also check out Getting the Most Out of Your Inversion Table – its the bestselling inversion table book at Amazon

  46. Greetings, please I need help in feedback regarding ultrasound therapy for chronic sciatic nerves impingement and when does ultrasound therapy is a contraindications.

  47. Do not do this if you have increased lumbar lordosis, you can hurt yourself even more! People with anterior pelvic tilt should avoid these.

  48. I can see how these exercises might help a bulging disc, but I didn't see in this video how they would help a herniated or ruptured disc. If the disc is cracked, might these exercises cause more fluid to squeeze out?

  49. You mentioned in the video that what you don't want is for the pain to leave your back and upper thigh and remain in the calf… That is basically what has happened to me – the pain went from my back to my thigh to my calf and foot and now for the last three weeks my calf and foot have been numb (my back and thigh are fine)… is there any suggestion on what to do then?

  50. hello dear sir may i get your wtsup no. or email id because i want to send my mri
    report to you.
    i dont know that what type of problem in my back.

  51. Thanks so much. I have had excruciating lower back pain radiating down my left leg, due to a herniated disc, for 3 weeks. I have been going to PT for 2 weeks with limited results. I was in pain Tuesday night and found you on YouTube. I started doing the exercises every 2 hours since then. After 3 days I am walking without limping and am almost pain free. I have canceled me scheduled epidural injection and am currently searching for a McKenzie trained clinician in my area. Thanks again.

  52. Had this problem 20 yrs ago worked but ended up with surgery. Problems now is pain goes to lower abdominal area ( now what)??

  53. I have L5S1 hernia (beginner stage) due to straight back problem (according to my doctor my lumber curve almost completely gone. 🙁 ) Even that small hernia makes me awake at night I can't sleep without pills. Tomorrow I will start to doing these exercises if anything change I will write them down here. (I couldn't go to physical therapy my job schedule fucked up :'( )

  54. First step if the pain is bad.. MRI, if you don't know exactly where the problem is you can't know what exercises are helping or hurting, speaking from personal experience.

    I have ruptured L3 herniated L4 and have already seen exercise videos that would have caused major problems if I didn't know my specific issues.

    Not being preachy, but I think all these videos should start with a disclaimer saying.. If you have serious pain consult your doctor, get an MRI, consult a specialist about your MRI results.. now it's time to talk physical therapy.

    All that said, you guys are awesome putting this out there, pretty much exactly what my physical therapist recommended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *