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creating lumbar curve

Carolyn
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creating lumbar curve
I have a "flat back" and have learned to decrease pain via yoga, careful ergonomics, learning to walk properly (and give up running), etc.  Recently, after reading Egoscue, I began to lie passively on rolled towels - one under my lower lumbar spine (approximately 6 -7 " wide) and another (smaller) under my cervicals.  This is supposed to result in increasing the lumbar curve if done daily for 10 minutes or so (feet are flat on floor, knees flexed).

After discovering your book, I am wondering if this approach is advisable, as the pressure is not confined to L5-S1.  (I have to rise carefully from the floor, stretch out my back with a standing T at the wall; otherwise, it feels a bit painful.) 

I would appreciate any advice (by the way, the book's photos are amazing. . . beautifully done!).
lynnmarie66
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06/23/2009 - 2:42pm
Carolyn,

I would recommend Stretchsitting and Stretchlying as a good way to begin.  Both techniques impart a gentle stretch that can be sustained for long periods of time.  Lengthening the spine stretches out the muscles, helping them reach a longer resting length and decompresses the disks, among other things. 

Also, stretchlying can potentially be done all night long and stretchsitting can be done for hours while working or driving or reading.  Ideally, you won't have to delegate time from your day to make progress on your back. 

The spinal shape that the Gokhale Method considers natural and healthy is a major point of departure from what most medical professionals consider normal.  The two 'normal' spines on page 12 of 8 Steps illustrate this nicely.  The spine on the left of the photo was the normal spine shape in 1911 in America.  It is also the shape found in babies, and populations around the world that are not victim to the host of back, neck, knee and RSI problems that people are in this country.  As mentioned in 8 steps, this is the shape that the Gokhale Method considers normal. 

If getting up and down is painful, it can be quite helpful to use your inner corset to give you some extra length and to hold you together while getting up and down. 

I hope this is helpful!

-Noah
Carolyn
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I am doing those, or attempting to (my mattress is quite thick memory foam, which has been great for my back/hips, but I cannot check my spine as it sinks into the mattress).  Also, I find it difficult to sleep without changing position but will keep working on it.

My question is a bit more direct:  would it be harmful to lie on rolled towels to increase low back curve?  The only pain I feel is immediately, upon rising, and it goes away within seconds since I stretch out and move slowly out of that position.  I did realize that EG's suggested curve is confined to L5-S1, so that is another reason that I began to wonder about using this passive pose, as the rolled towel creates a lumbar curve (sacrum + L1-L5).  (I have tried using a foam roller and placing it just at the sacrum and rolling into slight anteversion, so maybe this is a solution.)

thanks. . .

Carolyn
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You are fortunate that your body is giving you a hint with a slight pain after being in this position. You might want to take that hint...Your approach of using a foam roller to restrict the place of curvature to L5-S1 is one I use in my GM 201 class - good discovery!

Don't worry about not being able to check your spine. If you have done all the steps to lengthen it, it will be lengthened.
Carolyn
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great - I will continue to use the foam roller - wish there were classes here in Maine!
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Put in a request for the course in your city at http://www.egwellness.com/instruction/gokhale_method_intensive.html#city_form There is an increasing awareness about this approach around the country (and abroad) - our goal is to train good teachers in each city. In the meantime, we plan to travel where there is demand.
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