Back & Neck Pain Prevention Print Training for ADLs With Rolling and Moving From Lying to Sitting By Anne Asher, CPT Updated May 31, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Back & Neck Pain Prevention Symptoms Causes & Risk Factors Diagnosis Treatment Living With Exercise Spinal Conditions When you're first recovering from a neck or low back injury much of your treatment may center on decreasing symptoms and learning about the positions that are safe for you to take. Soon, though, your therapist may start teaching you some very basic moves. Such movements include rolling, getting up and getting down from your bed, a chair or even the floor, getting into and out of your car and more. Becoming proficient at doing these basic actions will likely help reduce or minimize pain as you go about your daily business. Not only that but practicing activities of daily living (ADLs) gives you a chance to practice your neutral spine for real-life situations. Neutral spine is a key component of back safe ADLs (as well as exercises designed for therapeutic results). 1 Back Safe Rolling Instructions Getty Images/Tony Hutchings Whether you are moving from your back to your side, your side to your front or your front to your side, rolling is a handy skill to have. It is often used to change sleeping positions. For this example, let's try rolling from a supine position (i.e. lying on your back) to lying on your side. The first thing to do when rolling is to locate your neutral spine. Follow that with the drawing in maneuver. These two initial steps will likely help you establish the support necessary for transitioning to a different position while lying down. Reminder It's important to roll your trunk as one unit. To do this, you might imagine there's a stiff pole or rod that goes down the center of your body (spinal column) from head through pelvis. The rod image may help you keep your ribs, shoulders and/or pelvis from moving independently of one another as you roll. Of course, it's okay to use your arms and your top leg to help you get over, so don't fret about that. You will need your new found rolling skill for the next one: sitting to lying down or lying down to sitting. 2 Move From Lying to Sitting Stephen Lux/Cultura/Getty Images You'll need the log roll move you just learned for the skill of going from sitting to lying on your back or vice versa. Lie down on your back. Do the log roll such that you end up on your side. As you move into this side lying position, bend your hips and knees and push yourself up with your arms. As with the log roll, remember to keep your trunk stiff, especially from the pelvis to the rib cage. In other words, don't allow your spine to twist and bend as you roll. Instead, let the flexion in your knees and (especially) your hips take the force. Keep the spine supported but relaxed. 3 Move From Sitting to Lying Use your legs and arms to take weight and help you support your weight. If need be, place your arms in front of your body and use as a support as you lower your body down. When you get to side-lying, your hip and knee joints should be bent to almost 90 degrees (i.e., they make right angles). From the side lying position, use your log rolling skills to take yourself onto your back (or front). Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Kinser, C., Colby, L.A., Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques. 4th Edition. F.A. Davis Company. Philadelphia, PA. 2002.