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Spinal Stenosis / Low back & Leg Pain

SylviaWen's picture
Last seen:
4 years 8 months ago
04/12/2012 - 10:06pm
Spinal Stenosis / Low back & Leg Pain

Hi Esther,

It was a great experience to attend your workshop in Palo Alto earlier this month. 

To help everyone else on the forum, here's my basic profile:

I am 36 years female, fairly active, 5'9", relatively slender built. As a ballet dancer and volleyball player for years in school, I had minor injuries but nothing during the past 10 years or so. Then I slipped and fell heavily onto concrete stairs late last year when travelling abroad, which then developed into excruciating low back and leg pain starting a couple of months ago.

In addition to reading your book and attending the workshop, my doctor / chiropractor suggested me MRI and here’s the result:

L4-5: Large left paracentral disc extrusion results in moderate-to-severe canal stenosis, narrowing the left lateral recess without neural foramina' narrowing.

L5-Si: Central protrusion and annular fissure is seen, with slight contact of the Si nerve roots and with mild bilateral neural foramina' narrowing. 


I am currently working with my chiropractor for manual adjustment and disc decompression. My questions for you are,


-       Which exercises should I carry on for now from 8 Steps Book?

-       Any additional exercises recommended to disc decompression?

-       Are there any exercises / practices I should try to avoid?

-       Any suggestion on sitting / sleeping / standing to help the recovery?


Again thank you so much for your work and looking forward to hearing back from you!

charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
3 years 2 months ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am

Hi Sylvia, 

Great questions!

Definitely what you want to look for first is anything that lengthens your spine and decompresses your discs: 

Stretchsiting, Stretchlying and Inner Corset are a great beginning as they help to loosen the clay.

If you sway, I would look at the Rib Anchor exercises in the Appendix of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. pages 198-200.

I would make sure you feel pretty comfortable with the above steps before moving on to Anteverting the pelvis (Stacksitting, Stretchlying on the Side, and Tall Standing)

Additionally, when you move on to Hip-Hinging, you may want to use your Inner Corset until you feel very comfortable with this form.

I hope this is helpful to you!


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher, Palo Alto and San Francisco

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