Exercises to Rehabilitate the Middle and Lower Back

January 21, 2008

The following exercises can help turn the course of your back problem toward recovery. Consult with a health care professional before beginning a new exercise program. When doing floor exercises, be sure to use a mat.

  1. Belly breathing oxygen for the spine. Lie with pillow under knees or lower legs on chair. Press abdomen back toward spine as you exhale. Pause. Release abdomen. Let breath flow into the vacuum you have created in your belly. Pause. Repeat.
  2. Pelvic tilt. Same position. Palms down by sides. As abdomen comes back toward spine on exhale, squeeze buttocks and lift tailbone slightly off floor. Lower back flattens onto floor. Pause. Release. Breath flows back in. Repeat several times.
  3. Knee to chest. On exhale, tighten abdomen and pull knee closer to chest. Pause. Release and inhale. Repeat on other side. Do three sets.
  4. Bridging. From pelvic-tilt position raise hips on inhale and expand abdomen. Pause. Exhale. Abdomen comes back toward spine. Lower vertebrae to floor one by one. Pause at end of exhale.
  5. Hamstring stretch. Extend one leg and bend the other. On exhale slowly lift straight leg as far as you can with comfort. Pause. Return leg to floor on inhale. Repeat on other side. Do three sets.
  6. Side stretch. Lie on side, with arm supporting your head. Use other arm to support your body. On inhale, lift upper leg straight up, pushing out through heel. Pause. Exhale and lower leg. Do this three times. Repeat on other side.
  7. Cat Flex. Place hands and knees on floor. Inhale, drop belly, release back and lift head. Pause and exhale. Pull abdomen back toward spine. Curl up back and turn in chin. Pause. Do this five times.

This information is not intended as a substitute for proper health care. If you are being treated for a back problem, exercise under the direction of your health care provider.


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