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The Gist About Discs - Part 3 (Back Exercises)


Here is a series of extension exercises you can do to recover from low back pain, specifically acute episodes of back pain - when your back "goes out." The exercises put the vertebrae in a position that pushes the soft center of the disc forward so it stops pushing on the ligaments or nerves in the low back.

Before beginning the exercises, consult with your massage therapist to be sure that the exercises are appropriate for you. Do them in the order outlined. When doing these exercises, you should move until you just start to feel discomfort and then return to the starting position. If you do these exercises every two hours, about six to eight times per day, you should notice a significant change in pain within one to two days.

Closely observe the location and intensity of your pain. If your pain becomes less diffuse and localizes to your back, you'll know these exercises are working. if the pain intensifies or starts to spread further from your spine, stop exercising and get advise from your massage therapist.​

EXERCISE 1: Lie face down with your head turned to the side. If your neck is uncomfortable in this position, roll up a towel and place it under your shoulders. Take deep breaths and consciously try to relax the muscles in your lower back. Stay in this position for about five minutes.

EXERCISE 2: Remain face down. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders so that you are leaning on your forearms. Take deep breaths and allow your back to relax completely. Hold this position for about five minutes. This exercise should be done only once per session after Exercise 1.

EXERCISE 3: Place your hands under your shoulders. Straighten your arms and push your body upwards. Let your pelvis sag and rest on the floor. Relax the muscles around your low back and hips completely. It is important that you hold this extended position for one to two seconds before you lower yourself to the starting position. If you feel that the pain is decreasing or localizing, you may hold the position for a little longer. Repeat this exercise 10 times after having completed Exercises 1 and 2.

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