Lateral Shift Review

Last week a patient presented with chronic low back pain. She has tried lots of different treatment modalities. She handed me her xrays which showed a lumbar scoliosis.

I treated her with wall side glides only, no manual treatment. She presented back yesterday self reporting at least a 60% improvement in one week. If you know you have a lumbar scoliosis or side shift give this movement a go.

Lets throw back to March 2012 when I uploaded a video on Margaret doing the movement.

If your unsure, please see your health care professional!!

Why do we need strong glutes???

Strong glutes.  Why do we need them?

When was the last time you saw a health care professional for low back pain and they recommended to you that you needed to strengthen your glutes?  Probably never…  Most low back talk these days is focused on a strong core or low back strength but rarely specifically just about strong glute muscles.


In short there are three main muscles that make up the “glutes”.  Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.  The glutes are anatomically responsible for extending your hip (standing up and moving your leg straight back behind your body). 


But the functional activities that the glutes are used for are much more important.  Standing, walking, running, sitting, squatting, and bending.   When you think about it sitting up and down from a chair, getting in and out of your car, bending or squatting to pick up your child’s toy are all activities in which the glutes activate.  And lets not forget the postural component of your glutes.  Strong glutes will assist your pelvis to sit correctly and give positive positioning for your sacrum and spine.



So its unfortunate that when you experience low back pain and need to rely on other body parts to help that our strongest, largest, most functional group of muscles let us down…

Without over complicating things, you don’t need glutes like Ronnie Coleman (below) to protect and help your back, however you do need glutes that turn on and off as required and give maximum support for your body. 

In my next blog I will set out a glute strengthening program that will give you stability, strength and at worst a sexy set of buns…..












Lateral Shift Corrected! No Pain!


When a lateral shift is treated correctly this is the outcome.  No Pain! Full Range! Full Function!

Lateral Shift Day Three. After Manual Therapy


Lateral Shift: Day three After Manual Therapy…. Manual therapy has again increased Range.  Spine moving better. I will now give Margret 3-4 days at home to do her exercises and allow the injury to recover.


Home exercises are now dynamic extension.


Lateral Shift Day Three. Testing Extension before manual therapy

Lateral Shift: Day three…. Patient now able to extend her spine in prone lying.  We will now proceed with extension movements for a disc derangement.   Range of motion continues to increase.


Home exercises are now dynamic extension.

Lateral Shift Day three. Initial Presentation.


Lateral Shift: Day three …. Range of motion has now increased dramatically.  The disc is shifting and Margret is ready for shifting the disc a new direction.





Lateral Shift Day 2 cont…

Lateral Shift: Day two cont…. Patient still unable to flex or extend her spine in standing position.  HOWEVER we have been able to achieve prone static extension with slight lateral shift of the lips.  Pain is still sharp, however disappears when in static extension… Range of motion continues to increase.


Home exercises are now static extension.

Lateral Shift Day 2

Lateral Shift: Day two. Patient still unable to flex or extend her spine in standing position. Pain is sharp and debilitating. Range of motion is increasing, which is my main goal. Exercises are going well.


We tried lying prone to see if we can get some extension…



Lateral Shift Day 1.

With Permission from Margret I will be uploading her progressions to my blog. This will give a good indication as to the treatment of an initial lateral shift and the timeline for recovery.


Lateral Shift: Day one. Patient is unable to flex or extend her spine. Pain is sharp and debilitating. We have started with a wall patient generated lateral shift correction. Form is only “ok” but it is good enough at this point in time.


I have prescribed these exercises at home for the next 24 hours..



Lateral Shift


Has this ever happened to you??   For no apparent reason your back has gotten really sore, really quickly. You look in the mirror and your shoulders are one way and your hips are another. This is called a lateral shift.

In a nut shell the internal part of your intervertebral disc has moved, this causes the bone (vertebrae) on top to flex laterally causing the upper body to flex to one side. It can be very debilitating and painful.  The type of shift depends on way the shoulders have moved. So in the image the shoulders are to the Right, therefore it is a Right lateral Shift.  Most of the time the pain is on the opposite side in the lower back, but can be on the same side.

Margaret present to me a couple of days ago in a bad way.  She was making her bed then could straighten up!  I have seen Margaret 3 times in the last 4 days.  Progress has been excellent.  I will keep it posted on my blog.