Pain Relief

by Ed

One of the healing modalities I practice is postural alignment therapy. After a thorough evaluation of my clients posture and structural alignment, I design an exercise program to correct the misalignments. When the body is properly aligned, pain and other symptoms often go away. But when the pain is too great for even the gentle program I design, what to do?

There are three exercises that most people can manage. These three exercises are particularly useful for musculoskeletal pain involving the back, hips, knees, and shoulders. Between them they relax and realign the body very well. With dedication, they can help reduce disabling pain, and often relieve pain altogether, at least temporarily. At that point I can introduce a program that will really help them get permanently out of pain.

So what are those three magic exercises? I’ll show you, but first some Do’s and Don’ts:

Do consult with a qualified health professional before embarking on any self-help plan. Make sure you know the cause of your pain.

Don’t do any exercise if it causes pain.

Do relax and breathe deeply while doing the exercises.

The first one is very simple: Lie on your back with your calves on a chair or other suitable support. The thighs should be vertical and the calves should be horizontal. Stay here for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the severity of your pain.
static back

The next exercise is similar. Only you have one leg up and the other stretched out straight, on the floor. Support the foot on the floor so it stays vertical. Do this for about 15 minutes on each side.

Supine Groin Stretch

The last one, called air bench, is the most difficult, so you should slowly work into this one. Stand with your back and hips against a wall. Your feet should be parallel, about shoulder’s width apart, and far enough in front of you so that you can slide down the wall until you are in a sitting position. The position is very important. The knees should be over the ankles, not in front of them at all! Try to get your thighs horizantal, but don’t hurt yourself. If there is any discomfort in the knees, move up the wall until it disappears. Press the hips and low back against the wall. Feel the weight in your heels, not the balls of your feet. Hold this for up to 2 minutes. You may have to start at 10 seconds and slowly increase.


I first learned these exercises from the book, “The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion”. It was after reading that book and Pete Egoscue’s “Pain Free”, that I studied at the Egoscue Method Clinic.

For more information check out my web site or


1 Mehdi 05.12.07 at 1:08 pm

My guess is that the two first exercises adress anterior pelvic tilt causing lower back pain?

I’m not familiar with the exercises you describe, however I use mobility drills that are quite similar to adress lower back pain.

You have a very interesting blog!

2 Ed 05.12.07 at 3:55 pm

Anterior pelvic tilt is a common cause of lower back pain. However many kinds of musculoskeletal pain, throughout the body, are related to a misaligned pelvis. The first exercise relaxes the back and pelvis and, as you say, addresses anterior pelvic tilt. The second exercise is my favorite. It helps all the deeper pelvic muscles to release, particularly the hip flexors and adductors. I find that many people have very uneven adductors, in terms of strength andf flexibility. If we can correct that the pelvis will return to it’s correct position, which has positive effects throughout the body. The final exercise strengthens hip and thigh muscles evenly, bringing more stability to the pelvis.

3 Michael 05.09.08 at 6:26 pm

You mentioned a program that will get rid of pain completely once these exercises are mastered. i believe im ready to go to that next level. if you could email me, and give me some pointers, and if they truly work, you will have ultimately cured my problem that has been lingering for almost 8 years now.

ive been going to a chiropractor since i was 18 from a subluxation in my lower spine region. also, i have a misaligned pelvis, in which one side is positioned higher than the other. in particular, my right side is higher, therefore, i have tremendous pain in my left lower back region and even extending to a soreness in my left buttocks. sometimes when i cough it even hurts in that region.

ive had to stop going to the chiro recently because of money issues. so im looking for anything that will help. ive done these exercises before, in particular, the last one where you position yourself against a wall. its very helpful indeed.

i find myself questioning the various chiropractors i have visited as none of them have fully cured my condition. they just “temporarily” relieve it. and that just doesn’t suffice for me anymore. please help me. thanks in advance.

4 Priya 01.15.10 at 1:39 pm

I think my pelvis is posteriorly rotated on the right hand side. Would it be counterproductive to do the exercises for anterior rotation then?

5 Priya 01.15.10 at 1:41 pm

Would you be able to send me some more exercises to realign and stabilize my pelvic girdle. I am in immense pain and I have also tried chiropractors with short term relief.

6 Ed 01.15.10 at 1:53 pm

If you know you have a posterior rotation in your pelvis, it would be best to do a different set of exercises.

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