Lumbar Rotation

Original Editor - Neha Duhan Top Contributors -

Introduction[edit | edit source]

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Lumbar rotation can be preformed in a supine position (lying on your back) keeping your upper extremity fixed and rotating your lower extremity. It is a twisting motion of your lower trunk area.

Action: Lie on your back on the floor with hips and knees bent to 90 degrees with feet flat on floor; draw in abdominal muscles and maintain throughout exercise; slowly and with control, rotate knees to one side keeping hips in contact with the floor; Hold it for 10 seconds and then repeat to opposite side. For a more advanced version of this exercise, extend your top leg while leaving your bottom leg bent, and move your arms in the opposite direction.[1]

  • 30-35 degrees of axial rotation occurs to each side of the thoracic spine.[2] The orientation of the lumbar facet joint allows for more sagittal plane motion opposed to rotational horizontal plane motion. Many nerves innervate the muscles for spinal rotation.
  • Primary Muscles: Internal and external obliques. Erector spinae, Semispinalis

Types and Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

  • Rotation techniques can be divided into three types: sustained rotation, cyclic oscillatory rotation, and rotational manipulation.[3]
  • The sustained rotation technique is often used in the treatment of unilateral signs and symptoms, whether the pain is in the local lumbar area or referred to the leg.
  • Passive oscillatory movements are used for the purpose of treating unilateral back and leg pain, and restoring the painless range of motion by promoting synovial fluid flow through the articular cartilage and disc,[3] 
  • The rotational manipulative technique is commonly used for patients with unilateral signs and symptoms in order to reduce pain and increase the range of movement
  • Useful in low back pain.

Method[edit | edit source]

[4][edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. Lumbar Rotation
  2. Tsung BY, Evans J, Tong P, Lee RY. Measurement of lumbar spine loads and motions during rotational mobilization. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 2005 May 1;28(4):238-44.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Passias PG, Wang S, Kozanek M, Xia Q, Li W, Grottkau B, Wood KB, Li G. Segmental lumbar rotation in patients with discogenic low back pain during functional weight-bearing activities. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American volume.. 2011 Jan 5;93(1):29.
  4. EmergeOrtho. Lumbar Rotation. Available from [last accessed 28/10/2020]