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Exercises for Lower Back Pain

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To restore the strength of your back and for a gradual return to regular activity, regular exercise is necessary. There are several exercises for lower back pain that you should try, with the approval of your doctor, to relieve or ease the pain in your lower back. These exercises for lower back pain should be done one to three times per day, for ten to thirty minutes total. Your orthopaedic surgeon or physical therapist may suggest some of the following exercises for lower back pain. At first, these exercises for lower back pain should be supervised by the therapist or surgeon until you are doing them correctly or that they are having a mild to moderate effect.

Initially, your doctor or surgeon will recommend these exercises for lower back pain. Ankle pumps are where you lie on your back and move your ankles up and down slowly ten to twenty times. Heel slides, also on your back, require you to slowly bend and straighten your knee ten times. The abdominal contraction has you lying on your back with your knees bent and your hands resting below your ribs. Tighten your stomach muscles to squeeze your ribs down toward your back – remember to breath. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times. Straight leg raises have you on your back – still – with one leg bent and the other straight. Tighten your stomach muscles to stabilize your lower back, and then lift your leg six to twelve inches and hold for one to five seconds. Repeat this exercise ten times. Heel raises have you standing. Raise your heels up and down slowly ten times. Finally, for your initial set of exercises for lower back pain, is the wall squats. Stand with your back against the wall. Walk your feet out about twelve inches in front of your body, slide your body down, and keep your stomach muscles tight, so that your knees are at a 45 degree angle. Hold for five seconds, return to your upright position, and repeat ten times.

After you have accomplished these initial exercises for lower back pain, your therapist or surgeon will give you an intermediate exercise program to work on, while still working with the initial set of exercises. These two exercises for lower back pain add additional strength to the lower back muscles. The single knee to chest stretch has you lying on your back again with both knees bent. Holding your thigh behind your knee, bring that knee up to your chest and hold for twenty seconds. Relax and repeat five times on each side. The hamstring stretch also has you on your back with knees bent. Hold one thigh behind your knee and slowly straighten the knee until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold for twenty seconds, relax, and repeat five times on each side.

Your doctor could also prescribe a set of exercises with a Swiss Ball for lumbar stabilization and eventually an advanced set of exercises for lower back pain. All of the exercises prescribed by the doctor or therapist should be done, in addition to all the other initial and intermediate exercises that were prescribed. All these exercises for lower back pain strengthen the core muscles of the stomach as well as the lower back muscles, which in turn strengthen the back for added natural back support.


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