Back to Exercise Library.
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 increased pain.
Back Exercise Menu
- Press Up: Sphinx
- Standing Extension & Piriformis Stretch
- Cat & Dog
- Knee to Chest
- Body Flexion
- Runner's Stretch
- Advanced Reach
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 (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 3 seconds, and return to starting position. Repeat 5 times.
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 20 times.
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 ten times.
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 10 seconds. Go back to starting position. Repeat position with left leg and right arm. Do the exercise 10 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.
TriCities Spine in Bristol, TN is a by-product of discussions with case managers, rehab nurses and managed care experts on a local and national level who believe that spine care can be improved through a multidisciplinary team approach. TriCities Spine includes a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spine, Dr. Jim Brasfield, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy. TriCities Spine physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. TriCities Spine emphasizes a nonsurgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after nonsurgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to TriCities Spine by other doctors in the region. TriCities Spine also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. The strength of TriCities Spine lies in the medical expertise brought in by a variety of specialists who complement each other, including experts in physical medicine and neurosurgery. An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Dr. Fred Terry specializes in pain relieving lumbar spinal injections and as well as myelograms, which may reveal the amount of damage in the spine. Therapists who specialize in spine use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, Dr. Jim Brasfield is trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Brasfield, many patients are able to have their spine surgery and then return home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.