Proper Motion to Help Back Pain

Video by Dr. Bryan Stephens​

I have patients that come in all the time with low back pain and one of our big focuses is to strengthen the surrounding muscles to enable proper movement and stability of the spine.  Once the proper motion is restored to the joint with the adjustment (Hilton’s Law!), we further the movement by further mobilizing with specific exercises.  I really enjoy using dead bugs to help with stabilize the back.

I know what you’re thinking.  How the heck can a dead bug help my back?  It’s not the bug itself that is needed, but the pose they take.  Now stay with me, if you lay on your back with your arms and legs in the air, you resemble a dead bug.  That is where the name comes from, and the similarities end.  While in that position, bring your right arm back and your left leg down.  All of this is done while keeping your core tight.  This is done by pulling your belly button into your spine and holding it there.  Don’t hold your breath.  That would be cheating!  Slowly, bring the arms and legs back to the starting position and switch sides.  Keep moving the opposite side arms and legs down to the floor and back to resting.

Besides helping with the core and back by going through the movements, it also adds full , proper motion into the shoulders and hips.  Motion is life!  The addition of using opposite arms and legs is also a movement called cross crawl exercise.  This type of movement allows you to use both hemispheres of the brain at the same time.  Neurology is fun!

This is also a great exercise because of the many progressions that can be utilized as strength and stability is gained.  Band resistance to increase strength, sitting on a ball to improve balance, and laying on a ball to improve balance and stability are just a few.  It all revolves around one thing.  Movement.  Keep your joints moving and utilize the muscles properly and you will find less pain and discomfort going forward.


DeSure AR, Peterson K, Gianan FV, Pang L. An exercise program to prevent falls in institutionalized elderly with cognitive deficits: a crossover pilot study. Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2013 Nov;72(11):391-5. PMID: 24251085; PMCID: PMC3831567.

Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our St. Louis Park Chiropractors located in the West End, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diabetes and other diseases!