Corrective Exercises Low Back And Abdominals

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Exercises in the lying position should be done on a firm surface (e.g., a board on the bed, a treatment table or the floor, with a thin pad or folded blanket placed on the hard surface for comfort).

Stretching exercises should be preceded by gentle heat and massage to help relax tight muscles. (Avoid using heat on weak, overstretched muscles.) Stretching should be done gradually, with a conscious effort to relax. Continue until a firm, but tolerable "pull" is felt, breathing comfortably while holding the stretch, then return slowly from the stretched position.

Strengthening exercises should also be done slowly, with an effort to feel a strong "pull" by the muscles being exercised. Hold the completed position for several seconds, then relax and repeat the exercise the number of times indicated by your therapist.

Low Back Stretching

Face-lying Position: Place a firm pillow under the abdomen (not under the hips) and a rolled towel under the ankles. Lying on a firm pillow puts low back muscles on a slight stretch.

Back-lying Position: Slowly pull both knees toward the chest, gently stretching the low back muscles just enough to flatten low back on table.

Lower Abdominal Exercise and Low Back Stretching

Back-lying Position: Bend knees and place feet flat on table. With hands up beside head, tilt pelvis to flatten low back on table by pulling up end in with lower abdominal muscles. Keep low back flat and slide heels down along table. Straighten legs as much as possible with back held flat. Keep back flat and return knees to bent position, sliding one leg back at a time. (Do NOT use buttock muscles to tilt pelvis and do NOT lift feet from floor.)

Trunk Rotation in Back-Lying Position

Starting Position: Lying on the floor with knees bent and feet flat.

Slowly move the knees toward the left, rotating the lower trunk. Return to midline and repeat toward the other side. Do NOT move arms from starting position and keep feet on floor during the exercise.

Lower Abdominal Exercise Back-lying Position: Place a rolled towel or small pillow under knees. With hands up beside head, tilt pelvis to flatten low back on table by pulling up and in with lower abdominal muscles. Hold back Hat and breathe in and out easily, relaxing upper abdominal muscles. There should be good chest expansion during inspiration, but back should not arch. (Do NOT use buttock muscles to tile the pelvis.)

© 2005 Florence P. Kendall and Patricia G. Provance. Authors grant permission to reproduce for personal use but not for sale.

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