The Correct Exercise for You should do one of the following to your symptoms:

  • Abolish the symptoms (as in gone!)
  • Reduce the severity of your symptoms (in the same location)
  • Cause the symptoms to Centralize

Centralization is the movement of pain to a more central location. When this occurs as a result of the specific exercise or sustained position, it indicates the correct exercise is being performed.

This means that lower back pain that refers into the leg starts to reverse out of the leg, and starts becoming more localized to the spine. Another example is where there is only low back pain (i.e. no leg symptoms) that is across the spine or felt to one side, and the symptoms centralize to the centre of the spine. Again this means the exercise is correct and the right one for you!

The same thing happens in neck pain where symptoms reverse out of the arm as they centralize, or become more central to the spine if there was only neck/scapula pain without arm symptoms

Research shows that if symptoms can be Centralized this is associated with excellent outcomes

(Aina A, May S, Clare H; The centralization phenomenon of spinal symptoms – a systematic review Man Therapy; Aug; 9(3):134-143, 2004.).