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

Daniel Yohans

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

  1. Angela Pierre D says:

    These exercises saved me after 5 wks of disabling pain. Nothing else helped.

  2. marlene kerrmarlene says:

    you guys switched sides – thank you for the info

  3. deborah schale says:

    Thank you for hope. I have few herniated disks in neck, multiple in back & one big one in sacrum for 23 years, I’ve been through every kind of help but no surgeries. I will begin your video advices today. I was scared of rupturing one if I bent back but you say to so I will. I do believe in miracles, you’ve given me a lot you hope.

  4. wiscomeds says:

    owwwwwwww my back and right leg and mostly my calf hurts so bad, even my toes, sleep is almost impossible.. i will start this stretch today, and hope more than ever my pain goes down by 30% to even more…

  5. Lofts Sympatico says:

    I have been suffering left leg and hip pain after carrying 2 buckets of water up some steps 2 months ago AND had almost for sure such extreme sciatica I couldn't walk (about 3 years ago) but after 24 hours in hospital, it relaxed.
    I only suffered sciatica which lasts a week or two occasionally, but now it's been 9 weeks. So I tuned in. When I get time, I'll research more and may try this. Thanks for reading 🙂
    (I feel better already)

  6. John Chung says:

    I got sciatica last year February from lifting heavy rocks. Got progressively worse where my leg would feel numb when walking. Got desperate and found Bob/Brad. Literally after going through all their videos on the subject and applying their exercises, found rapid improvement in a short time. Now I can say I'm completely healed. These guys are amazing. Thank you

  7. Monika Figat says:

    Amazing and easy to understand as always !! Keep going

  8. Kuala Rompin Bandar Blackout says:

    You can get better people, so don't give up hope. I had sciatica few months ago, and now I can walk, sit and sleep, basically pain free, just sometimes discomfort in lower back area. I remember it was a living hell when I woke up with sciatica, I couldn't stand, I couldn't walk, I could not sit, and even laying down to sleep it was painful and I knew when I wanted to stand up, it would be a hell of pain. I remember crying and screaming in the middle of the night because the pain was so unbearable.
    You need to do the back exercise. It might be painful at first but it will go away. So don't give up.

  9. kilgore trout says:

    After 2 years of lower back pain and sciatica finally my back is nearly 100% ok. Keep faith eventually the pain will go away.

  10. Mary Tramp says:

    how often a day should these exercises be repeated?

  11. Dee Ca. says:

    I’m back here after a couple of months of excruciating sciatica pain that had localized itself in my leg. After a few weeks of doing these I don’t have pain anymore. Don’t give up guys! Keep doing your stretches and you will feel better over time. Just like they said the pain in the legs will eventually travel back to your back and from there you will feel renewed.

  12. Katarina Pujiastuti says:

    can i do that exercise on the floor with mat?

  13. Perla Garcia says:

    I tried lying on my stomach today with pillows and it made the pain in my leg got worse. Please help me. Do I still have hope? I also can’t lay in my back because it hurts a lot. I have an excursion on L4-L 5 with sciatica. They are telling me I might need surgery. Please help me.

  14. Tamerra Harris says:

    Just subbed. This is effective and beneficial use of the internet. Thanks for following your vision.

  15. Decay is headed your way! says:

    Thanks you.

  16. Rose G says:

    So I have herniated disc I’m seen at physiotherapist but my foot is still tingling and I can’t climb the stairs what can I do for that please

  17. Miss Morgue says:

    What does it mean if the pain in the thigh and buttock goes away but some pain in the calf stays? (In addition to back pain)

  18. Shaik Naser Hussein says:

    very well explained .

  19. Khan Niazi says:

    Really helped my sciatica pain . I have 3 slipped discs and 4th one is not in a good position , this’s all thanks to me smoking for years till I quit 6 years ago but damaged had been done made my discs dehydrated. :🥺

  20. ahnaruto says:

    At 6:58, ooooo 😂😂😂. Thanks for your knowledge. You guys really help👍

  21. I have back pain, trying to watch this video and that dog in the background doing the jingling made my dog start barking and now he's decided to jump in bed with. Thanks alot guys 🤦‍♂️

  22. FISH LIPS says:

    good content chaps thanks for the information

  23. John C says:

    what if the bulge is going off to the right or the left of the spine and not toward the back???

  24. michael 02/28/1980 says:

    Self diagnosis of bulging disc L4 L5 started doing this Cobra exercise 2 months on twice a day 10 times the pain is mostly out of my leg now and just in my back but can slightly feel something depending at time they're my leg to get rid of this altogether just keep doing the cobra or is there someone I should go see a bone manipulator or muscle person thanks for the videos has help me in a big way Bob and Brad

  25. Grey Wolfe says:

    What if no back pain but, pain in butt and ham string area? Been told I have herniated disk but that should be no surprise to a 70 year old.

  26. kama sutra says:

    Thanks for sharing this great video.
    But back ground sound horrible and spoils your time and energy

  27. khalid ahmed says:

    you guys are so amazing,great..God bless you…you guys really doing something for humanity….proud of your work

  28. Anthony Iannarella says:

    Hey guys
    Great work It is Anthony from Toronto I have Dish Arthritis in the neck can you guys help out ?

  29. Denny Wilkinson says:

    Pair of muppets

  30. Manel Hannan says:

    I am in pain with herniated disc issues. Also I got total hp replacement, so is it ok to use this exercises? Kindly advise

  31. nazanin keshavarzi says:

    Actually the bests therapist..

  32. Tanner Lynn says:

    This gave me instant relief and I could feel my very lower back moving just by barely arching back from laying flat… I will continue to do this a couple times a day and see if it keeps improving my pain

  33. Aparna appu says:

    I did this particular exercise to reduce sciatic pain and amazingly now my pain is more.towards the back and buttocks and the radiating pain in the legs are very infrequent and feel more comfortable in walking around than sitting….how long.does it take for this pain in the back to settle down ?

  34. Let Go says:

    Thanks 😊

  35. Justice Boy says:

    Bullshit this therapist…showing yoga movement and then said its own creation exercise…this white people bastard always like this….

  36. Meg Oceanna says:

    question 1… during this movement, I am naturally tightening my buttocks. Is this ok or making it worse? 2… I had one shoulder surgery and the second coming up soon. So both shoulders hurt with this. Is there a modified position I can try? Thanks. You both are THE best.

  37. Brent Smith says:

    I've been doing these exercises for years to help treat my two bulging discs. I learned of them from reading a book called Treat Your Own Back written by Robin McKenzie.

  38. Chrissie Hopkins says:


  39. Alex Blahomir says:

    I had piriformis pain for on and off for 8 years of my life coupled with disc herniation. Different exercises like this gave me some small relief, but only temporarily. After some activities the pain was coming back. Finnaly i was able to fix my sciatica. Just watch videos on my account. Im sharing my experience

  40. andrewr19851985 says:

    Amazing. I can't believe how good I feel after 6 months of pain.

  41. Truth Lover says:

    My doctor told me to do this, and I did it several times on schedule, and then felt like a hot knife with stabbing my disc, for two or three months.

  42. Blk Rose says:

    I was doing this for awhile….then I found another video of yours saying if you have stenosis dont do this….well before I started doing it…I could not srand straight up….now I can do without such pain…. after walking my hip and leg hurt bad….so you know anything about claudication….can it be healed by walking….thank you

  43. Anthony Celis says:

    I'm personally a Mcgill guy myself. But the videos you make are great and so informative. Keep it up!!!

  44. tgodbey86 says:

    I have done this excersize three times today after 6 months of pain. Luckily I do not have pain running down my legs. I know it is a herniated disk from info from my chiropractor. It was painful when I sneezed or coughed. After doing this simple stretch a few times today, I am feeling the most relief I've had in weeks! Thank you so much for making your practices public! I will definitely be following in the future!

  45. Ashutosh Mehra says:

    How much time
    does disc herniation take to heal ?

  46. Gene Sidorin says:

    I had a herniated disc for over 15 years and recently started to have sciatica all the time. After doing this exercise for two weeks it all cleared up. Now I just try and remember to do it once a day to maintain it. Thanks a lot for the videos.

  47. cdracos1 says:

    Help please any advice! . I herniated my disc by carefully squatting down with both legs then leaning forward to pick up some mail of the floor and "pop!" . Its been one week of laying flat on a reclining sofa and mc kenzy exercises etc . I believe ive managed to re absorb my herniation . I also suffer with DDD. My problem now is this….I have a belly full of fear with legs like jelly at times and I am petrified to bend over or move as normal , in fear my fragile disc will blow out again .I'm moving about like a walking ironing board due to fear and in confidence. How do I get over this ? How can I test my ability to bend and put my socks on without blowing my disc again ?

  48. Kenneth Brown says:

    Thank you guys I tried this with l4 l5 herniated disc with pain in the right thigh and glute the next day pain was focused in the back now looking for a meckize specialist

  49. Aussie Girl says:


  50. Vikas Gupta says:

    Jump to 2:44 for the exercise

  51. otisthegbs says:

    Hey Bob, Hey Brad, I wanted to leave a comment here. Are you guys getting this? This is comment is going to be full of commentary about the exact subject that you Bob, and you Brad, are talking about. Is this comment coming through, do you guys see this? This is my comment! Wowwww!

  52. Moheen Mahmood says:

    After this exercise what if you feel it more in the hip?

  53. Blue Sing says:

    So glad I found this video; was in a car crash 7+ years ago which left me with extreme sciatic pain and immobility from a ruptured disc for 3.5 months. Had a real bad flare up this week for the first time in a long time (to the point of my entire right leg being frozen with my lower right back in excruciating spasms – all from standing up out of a chair very badly?!) and this move has sorted everything right out, I cannot believe it! So happy, thank you so much for making this video, you’re both fantastic!

  54. Nathan Leonel says:

    Hey guys! Love your channel, seen and followed the videos for a while due to me have loads of low back pain. It’s been about 6-7 months of discomfort, maybe longer.
    I have a few questions; when I stretch, specifically downward dog it does hurt a little. I imagine it’s a disc problem, but I haven’t done an MRI. Would you recommend I get one to make sure?
    Secondly, if I stopped being active (training jiu jitsu) how long could it take to recover fully?
    Im at the point where I just need to take action on the discomfort & pain because it’s getting in the way of everyday life.

  55. Kannan M says:

    Go by

  56. m144mantube says:

    Thanks guys! I've had nerve issues down my right leg for years, and difficulty standing upright in the morning. These exercises, that you've shared, have given me almost immediate relief!!! I'm SO stoked! Thank you!!

  57. G Philip Arnold says:

    Gentlemen, thank you. One does not "lay" on a table, one lies on the table. One lies down, not lays down. Incorrect grammar is distracting in such an instructional video and, in my opinion one has more gravitas as a teacher when one uses grammar correctly. I'm disregarding the grammar lapses and hoping this will help.

  58. unni krishnan says:

    Is it good for d11- d12 disc bulge

  59. Mr. Q says:

    I had a bulging disc and it was excruciating. Took 7 prednisone pills. After the first two pills, the pain was gone. The doctor still wanted me to take all seven.

  60. Sith-Lord Maev says:

    Serious question… Is it possible to be beyond the help of pt? I just did this, and there's still pain and numbness and now the back pain is worse…

  61. Jay Kumar R says:

    LOL..Funny that the skeleton in the corner is laughing out loud!!

  62. TIN FOIL FAN says:

    What if you're lob sided. And spasms in back. How do realign the back. Or can I do this when my back is off to one side. Thanks

  63. flxwercxrpse says:

    It hurts when i bend down or even slouch while sitting. I can be laying down perfectly fine and it doesn’t hurt but once i get up and bend a bit it hurts a lot

  64. zoe says:

    Does this mean I should stop NSAIDS

  65. The Traveler says:

    Would this exercise work for disks that are degenerative, not just herniated? I have three disk practically missing to where the vertebrae are almost just bone on bone.

  66. Warren Peterson says:

    Subtitles are getting in the way of what your showing fellas

  67. K Venkata Dharaninath says:

    This is not Mc Kenzie approach

    It’s Traditional Yoga 🧘‍♂️ approach

  68. Victor Gharoja says:

    Hernia disc move then medicine is 90 % not working and exercise also not working . You must go to the special doctor for operation .

  69. Aaron Szekely says:

    Bob and brad,I really dig your videos thanks for making them. I have an idea for a video y’all could make. Excercises for low back pain for athletes or younger people who have gym memberships. I’m 30 and I skate and surf. Make a video for a guy like me! We’re not all decrepit old fogies yet. 🤣 just a thought! Thanks guys!! 🙏

  70. Alexis Abercrombie says:

    I've done it both ways, Brad

  71. The BODY CLUB says:

    "Exercise starts at. 1:30❤

  72. 33rd says:

    I honestly feel like Bob and Brad saved my life. These two are definitely the BEST physiotherapists on the internet for sure!

  73. Johan Svensson says:

    My symptoms gets worse when I do McKenzie. As I lay down and do press ups, the tingling increases in my fot/calves… any ideas? My actual lumbar pain is gone but the nerve tingling is present..

  74. I Keeps It 100 says:

    4:05 I also bend my legs at 45° to add to the stretch to my lower abdominal muscles. I'm one of the fortunate people that has the pain to my foot where I can't even curl my toes fully. The pain goes up 1-10 at times when I have a bowel movement. This type of pain is slow death. Good luck.

  75. Nandagopal Chatterjee says:

    Really U R GREAT SIR❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  76. tony, may says:

    what do you about cbd oil,for pain

  77. Cee Emm says:

    It's been around for about 3000years, a yoga position called The Cobra. Glad to see you've caught up, haha.

  78. Super Mad says:

    Guys you are the best life savers

  79. Sharon Mitchel says:

    Hey guys. I like the closed captioning in this video. I can watch it when my husband is watching tv!

  80. motamarri samuelsudhakar says:

    Dear sir
    Pls post the exe excise for MERALGIA PARESTRITICA also

  81. JReese Faulkner says:

    GoPackGo!! Thanks for the help

  82. icy2 says:

    Always been a bit skeptical about ‘experts’ proven right a couple a of times. Prolonged, light, traction worked for me and others.

  83. paayal kapoor says:

    Won't it be much easier just to quit? Only then can we achieve absolute pain free State of being. Life is Just a means of suffering I think.

  84. Dr Swapnil Bhanushali says:

    It's called Bhujangasana in Yoga. I.e cobra posture. Thanks Bob and Brad. You guys are the best physio Therapist on INTERNET

  85. Queenie Miller says:

    Hello doctors do u know if the Bahamas have the McKinley therapy we do needs on of them here we do have bad back problems here

  86. Isle of Wight Bushcraft says:

    I’ve just herniated my disc, bad posture weight lifting, and I’m 57 now. You guys have really help and reassured me, especially your 7 signs your herniated disc will heal . Thank you so much guys. Have liked and subbed. It’s the least I can do.

  87. Chip Moffatt says:

    Bob/Brad, thanks for all you do trying to help people get pain relief. What is the role of PT if you have had an MRI-documented disc herniation , once you become pain free? Does PT help at that point? What about if you are trying to return to activities such as running or cycling? Thanks again.

  88. Megan L. says:

    What is when the pain is localized at the sciatica joint and doesn't travel down the butt and leg? It's like a lightning bolt of pain that is localized and doesn't go anywhere else. What helps for this?

  89. Van Wilson says:

    Guys, I love what you do. I need you to help me with a herniated disc in the UPPER cervix back area. Extreme pain in the area of the herniation and a lot of throbbing pain in the shoulder and down the arm. This is my second bout with the problem so some help would be appreciated for now and the future. Please do a video if possible. Thanks

  90. digg dogg says:

    This helped me so much. I first saw this video a little over a year ago, I had herniated L5 S1. I could barely move my right leg without feeling seering pain . After a week of practicing this exercise I was feeling better. I was back in the gym within 2 months.
    Although I still have occasional discomfort and pain its is 90% more functional than a year ago. I get cramps in my calf and tingling in my leg. If I do to much work or exercise It gets worse . But you have to do the exercises and have a good physical therapy

  91. Anniello Salvini says:

    The thing is, Robin McKenzie actually ended up becoming a major importer of heroin in the U.S. – He was then indicted on R.I.C.O. and was sentenced to 240 years. Now he cracks backs in prison.

  92. Michelle Phillips says:

    I'm a little confused….I have stenosis plus bulging discs. Which way am I going? You say not to bend forward with BD but with stenosis your suppose to go forward….. please help.

  93. Joan Paul says:

    It would help if the closed captioning wouldn't be over the demonstrion of the exercise

  94. dale sellars says:

    I felt like he was going to fall off the table how close to the edge it was, made me nervous lol


    But when does it go away?

  96. Rdawg says:

    my disc slipped more now i'm having pain in my groin and both legs and some days i can't even move my legs to walk, but I don't have 5000 dollars to pay for my insurance deductible. hate my life

  97. Jeannie S says:

    This is terrific information! Thank you. Just found out I have a LOT of problems with my spine, sciatic and L4 and L5 vertebrae. sigh…will try these exercises.

  98. Anuradha says:

    Very good examples nice ji i cure through this exercise l5s1disc problem

  99. Prissy Lovejoy says:

    I need to know what the recovery time for a laminectomy. I don’t have the resources to be off of work for very long.

  100. temenos58 says:

    That cobra position has absolutely fixed my back, many thanks Bob & Brad 🙏🙏🙏

Leave a Reply

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