Low Back Exercise GuideRegular exercises to restore the strength of your back and a gradual return to everyday activities areimportant for your full recovery. Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend that youexercise 10 to 30 minutes a day one to three times a day during your early recovery. They may suggest someof the following exercises. This guide can help you better understand your exercise and activity program,supervised by your therapist and orthopaedic surgeon.Initial Exercise ProgramAnkle Pumps - Lie on your back. Move ankles up and down.Repeat 10 times.Heel Slides - Lie on your back. Slowly bend and straighten knee.Repeat 10 times.Abdominal Contraction - Lie on your back with knees bent and handsrestingbelow ribs. Tighten abdominal muscles to squeeze ribs down toward back.Be sure not to hold breath. Hold 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times.Wall Squats - Stand with back leaning against wall. Walk feet 12 inches infront of body. Keep abdominal muscles tight while slowly bending both knees
45 degrees. Hold 5 seconds. Slowly return to upright position. Repeat 10 times.Heel Raises - Stand with weight even on both feet. Slowly raise heels up anddown. Repeat 10 times.Straight Leg Raises - Lie on your back with one leg straight and one kneebent. Tighten abdominal muscles to stabilize low back. Slowly lift legstraight upabout 6 to 12 inches and hold 1 to 5 seconds. Lower leg slowly. Repeat 10times.Intermediate Exercise ProgramSingle Knee to Chest Stretch - Lie on your back with both kneesbent.Holdthigh behind knee and bring one knee up to chest. Hold 20seconds.Relax.Repeat 5 times on each side.Hamstring Stretch - Lie on your back with legs bent. Hold one thighbehindknee. Slowly straighten knee until a stretch is felt in back of thigh. Hold20 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Lumbar Stabilization Exercises With Swiss Ball - Abdominal muscles must remain contracted during eachexercise. See "Abdominal Contraction" exercise from initial exercise program. Perform each exercise for 60seconds. The further the ball is from your body, the harder the exercise.Lie on your back with knees bent and calves resting on ball.1. Slowly raise arm over head and lower arm, alternating right and leftsides.2. Slowly straighten one knee and relax, alternating right and leftsides.3. Slowly straighten one knee and raise opposite arm overhead.Alternateopposite arms and legs.4. Slowly "walk" ball forward and backward with legs.Sitting on ball with hips and knees bent 90 degrees and feetresting on floor.1. Slowly raise arm over head and lower arm, alternating right and left sides.2. Slowly raise and lower heel, alternating right and left sides.3. Slowly raise one heel and raise opposite arm over head. Alternate oppositearm and heel.4. Marching: Slowly raise one foot 2 inches from floor, alternating rightand left sides.Standing with ball between your low back and wall.1. Slowly bend knees 45 to 90 degrees. Hold 5 seconds. Straighten knees.2. Slowly bend knees 45 to 90 degrees while raising both arms over head.
Lie on your stomach over ball.1. Slowly raise alternate arms over head.2. Slowly raise alternate legs 2 to 4 inches off of floor.3. Combine 1 and 2, alternating opposite arms and legs.4. Bend one knee. Slowly lift this leg up, alternating right and left legs.Be careful not to arch your low back!Advanced Exercise ProgramHip Flexor Stretch - Lie on your back near edge of bed, holding kneestochest. Slowly lower one leg down, keeping knee bent, until a stretch isfeltacross top of the hip/thigh. Hold 20 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 times oneach side.Piriformis Stretch - Lie on back with both knees bent. Cross one leg ontopof the other. Pull opposite knee to chest until a stretch is felt in thebuttock/hiparea. Hold 20 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 times each side.Lumbar Stabilization Exercises With Swiss BallLie on stomach over ball.1. "Walk" hands out in front of ball until ball is under legs. Reverseto starting position.2. "Walk" hands out in front of ball until ball is under legs and slowlyraise alternating arms over head.3. "Walk" hands out in front of ball and slowly perform push-ups.Aerobic Exercises - Maintain spine in neutral position while stabilizing with abdominal muscles to protectthe low back during aerobic exercise. 1. Stationary bike for 20 to 30 minutes. 2. Treadmill for 20 to 30minutes.Reviewed 2000For More Information:Back Pain ExercisesLow Back PainPrevnting Back Pain at Work and at HomeInstructions to Patient:
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Lumbar Stabilization Exercises With Swiss Ball - Abdominal muscles must remain contracted during each exercise. See "Abdominal Contraction" exercise from initial exercise program. Perform each exercise for 60 seconds. The further the ball is from your body, the harder the exercise. Lie on your ba