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The best way to prevent injury is by having strong,
flexible muscles and joints which resist strain and injury. With
some simple cases of back pain, certain exercises can help relieve
some pain episodes. Remember, never do any exercise that causes
Back Exercise Menu
Up: Sphinx Position
Start by lying on your stomach. Begin to raise your upper body slowly, while keeping your pelvis flat to the floor. Try to create an arch in your low back. Go up only as far as you can without discomfort. Work up to the Sphinx position, where your forearms are in contact with the ground. Then over time begin to press up. If you are flexible, you may be able to straighten your arms fully over time. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat.
Start by lying on
your stomach with face down. Raise your shoulders and hold
yourself up with your arms extended in front of you. Hold
for 30 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat
exercise ten times.
Standing Back Extension
Back Extension (above left) - This exercise can be
done at work or any other place where doing a press up on the
floor is practical. Start with hands on low back. Slowly arch
backward as far as you can without discomfort. Hold only for
three seconds, and return to starting position. Repeat five
Lie down with your right
knee up, and both arms stretching outward at 45 degree angles
away from your body. Slowly let your right knee fall across
your body to the ground. Keep your shoulders as flat as possible.
Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Raise your
left knee and let it fall across your body to the right side.
Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Do the exercise
ten times, alternating knees.
Start on all fours.
Create an arch in your low back by raising your abdomen toward the sky, while at the same time bowing your head. Hold
for 30 seconds. Go back to starting position.
Arch your back the opposite direction by lowering your abdomen toward
the ground, while at the same time raising your head. Hold
for 30 seconds. Go back to starting position. Repeat exercise
Knee to Chest
Start with both legs
and heals together flat on the ground. Raise your right knee
upward and pull it toward your chest with your hands. Hold
for 30 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat with
other leg. Do ten repetitions with each leg, alternating between
right and left leg.
Start on your knees
with hands across abdomen. Slowly lean forward and let your
body curl forward, keeping your head off the ground. Hold for
30 seconds. Repeat several times.
Start in a sitting position
with legs extended and feet together. With your hands flat
against the ground, slowly extend forward as far as you can
comfortably. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat stretch
This exercise is more
difficult than it looks. Start on all fours. Raise your right
leg backward, and raise your left arm up reaching in front
of you. Hold for ten seconds. Go back to starting position.
Repeat position with left leg and right arm. Do the exercise
ten times alternating legs/arms.
Start by lying on your
stomach with your hands behind your back. Then raise your chest and feet off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds.
NOTE: We recognize that people will diagnose and treat
themselves. We have provided this medical information to make you more
knowledgeable about nonsurgical aspects of care, the role of exercise
in your long-term recovery, and injury prevention. In some cases exercise
may be inappropriate. Remember, if you diagnose or treat yourself, you
assume the responsibility for your actions. You should never do any exercise
that causes increased pain. You should never do any exercise that places
body weight on a weakened or injured limb or back.
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