Pain Relief

Self -Treatment: we know what the directional preference is, what now?

Lesson 4

To start with, you want to lie on your stomach in the prone prop position.  The first step is to get somewhat comfortable on the floor on your stomach.  If this is too painful you can start with your hands at your sides, completely flat on your stomach.  Over the next several minutes slowly work yourself up onto your elbows. 

The next step is to do the prone press up.  This exercise may be slightly painful for the first several repetitions.  We do, however, expect as you continue to do more repetitions that the pain will start to subside.  It should also be following the centralization phenomenon that was described in the previous lesson. If for any reason your pain is not changing or getting worse make sure to contact your health care provider.

We typically recommend that you do these exercises 10-15 reps every hour or two.  It can also be helpful to tie them to something else you do frequently, like getting up to go to the bathroom, or perhaps mealtimes.

The routine

  • Prop yourself onto your elbows, keeping your lower body relaxed. Allow yourself to settle into this position until you get comfortable, then move on to the next step.
  • If this is even too uncomfortable, start with the first exercise, alligator breathing on your stomach. Spend enough time to settle in, and then move up to your elbows. 
  • Start on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Place your hands on a level just above and outside your shoulders, palms flat on the floor. Keeping your lower body completely relaxed, push your torso up.  If this movement is still too uncomfortable, go back and spend more time propped on your elbows and return here in a couple minutes.
  • Performing exercise 2 is slightly more difficult, as it increases the range of motion used. This will likely feel strange at first, especially since the extension you gain from it will likely be in the sore part of your lower back.


We treat these exercises like analgesics (pain relievers). They relieve symptoms of pain, often quickly and easily.  Think of it as using movement as medicine, or using these movements as breaks during your normal day. 

Finally, we'll touch on to some other strategies for pain relief.