The art, practice and science of Feldenkrais®
Director: Robert J. Burgess BEd, PT, PhD, Feldenkrais Practitioner

back and neck pain
spinal pain and stability

only 7 vertebrae to carry the head
this is neck strain
head lift on side ten pounds of skull
& brains are very heavy for the
neck bones &
muscles alone =
short ineffective leverage

the rib cage bends-
increasing the leverage of the spine
torso side bend
twelve ribs

the pelvis = the base of spinal motion

long spinal muscles
run from the pelvis
to the level
of the shoulders
to all ribs

pelvic side tilt on side

the pelvis, chest and head
functioning as a team
not a
rigid cage
using it all

the head is carried by all 24 vertebrae
of the spine:
the neck muscles work with
the back muscles for easy action
the brain /CNS controls:
muscle synergies
components of action
neural ensembles
vectors of action

head & 24 vertebrae

Feldenkrais for Spinal Pain: vector mobilization

The above illustrations describe a model for a mechanism for spinal pain and instability. Moving the head in any direction (side bend illustrated) as an isolated motion without connection to the underlying spinal column increases the demand on the local vertebrae. To cope with this extra demand the associated accessory movements is increased creating an instability at that level.

Back pain, neck pain, spinal stiffness and weakness, poor balance and posture problems can all be improved by learning to be aware of and coordinate the entire spine well.

The secret to a flexible painfree powerful spine is learning:

    • power from the pelvis
    • a mobile thorax
    • pelvis-thorax connection
    • one long functioning unit for spinal control

These are the basics and just a beginning.

Shown above is one simple coordination of pelvis, chest, spine and head in one plane of movement. Completing more motion combinations in different planes of movement adds flexibility, power and agility to your spinal function.

Treating pain and pathology alone is not enough. Restoring proper coordinated function to the whole spine is a key to painfree powerful function. It is also the way to free chronic pain otherwise stubborn and untreatable.