EXERCISES TO REHABILITATE AND STRENGTHEN LOW BACK
Here is a series of lowback stretches. They are good for people who work at office jobs. You can relieve tension and energize parts of your body that have become stiff from sitting. Before starting any physical fitness or stretching program it is advisable that you consult your physician before you start. No liability is assumed by the posting of the stretches.
1.) The basic starting position for this exercise is lying on your back with knees bent, hands at your side, and feel flat on the floor. Tighten the muscles of the abdomen and buttocks, and at the same time, press your back firmly against the floor. Hold for 6 seconds. Exhale. Relax for 12 seconds. Repeat as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
2.) Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides, pelvis tilted. Take a deep breath and grasp one knee with both hands, then bring your knee towards your chest. Apply a reasonable amount of pressure to exert a pull. Hold, count to five. Breathe out, and return your leg to the starting position. Repeat same procedure using other leg.
Following the prescribed individual leg exercises, repeat the procedure grasping both legs at once. Hold, count to five, release slowly. Repeat the series of exercises as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
3.) Lie flat on your back with both arms at your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, pelvis tilted. This time, draw your left knee to your chest without using your arms, followed by exhaling and straightening out leg and pointing it to the ceiling. Return to starting position and do the same with your right leg. Alternate legs for as many sets of exercises as recommended.
4.) This is a lower abdominal exercise. Lie on your back with your hands against your thighs. Raise your legs so that your thighs will be perpendicular to the floor as illustrated in the drawing. Push against thighs with hands while at the same time resisting with thighs. Hold to count of three. Release slowly. Repeat as recoommended.
When you have completed the prescribed number of repetitions in exercise 4, raise your left leg as illustrated and push against your left thigh with your right hand, while at the same time resistiing with your thigh. Hold to the count of three, release slowly. Repeat three times. Switch exercise using right leg and left hand; repeat three times.
5.) Use a medium height chair. Gradually bend to a squatting position, keeping your head flexed foward. At first, do the exercise by holding on to the chair. When you are able to maintain your balance, attempt this exercise without the use of the chair. Do this exercise 10 times in succession, repeat three times.
THE FOLLOWING ARE ADVANCED EXERCISES. DO NOT DO THESE EXERCISE UNLESS RECOMMENDED BY YOUR CHIROPRACTOR.
6.) Lie on your back, both legs extended. Bring your left foot up to your right knee and rest with the sole of your left foot on your right knee then slowly bring the flexed knee toward the right until you feel the stretch. Repeat the exercise, alternating sides. This exercise can be made more effective by extending the knee of the exercised leg. Be certain to keep shoulders flat against a floor or a table.
7.) This exercise should not be done until the other exercises have been done for several weeks. Assume a basic starting position. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands on your abdomen, pelvis tilted. Pull up to a one quarter sitting position, being certain to keep the knees bent. It is helpful to put the feet to the floor. Hold; count to three. Relax. Repeat as recommended. It is helpful to visualize a feather on your knees. Each time you relax, attempt to blow the feather away.
8.) Lie flat on your stomach, pillow under your hips, with arms crossed under your chin. Tighten your muscles in your left leg and raise slowly without bending or moving your hips. Hold for 10 seconds. Relax slowly. Repeat procedure with the right leg. Repeat as recommended.
9.) Lie flat on your stomach, pillow under your hips. Place your hands in the small of your back. Slowly raise your head and chest from the floor while at the same time raising the legs from the floor 2" to 6". Hold for 10 seconds. Relax slowly. Repeat as recommended.
Following completion of exercise 9, please your right hand behind you and attempt to touch the left leg. Hold to count of three, relax slowly. Repeat three times, and repeat exercise using the left hand and right leg.
10.) Assume a kneeling position, resting on your hands and knees. Arch your back like a cat, drop your head at the same time. Then reverse the arch by bringing up your head and forming a "U" with your spine. Do each set at least five times. Repeat as recommended.