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Back Exercises

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
  • Superman
  • Standing Extension & Piriformis Stretch
  • Piriformis
  • Cat & Dog
  • Knee to Chest
  • Body Flexion
  • Runner's Stretch
  • Advanced Reach
  • Hyperextension
  • Press Up: Sphinx Position

    Press Up

    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.


    Superman

    Superman

    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 & Piriformis Stretch

    back extension + piriformis 

    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 three seconds, and return to starting position. Repeat five times.

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    Piriformis Stretch

    Back Piriformis Stretch

    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.

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    Cat

    Back Cat Exercise

    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.

    DogBack Dog Exercise

    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.

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    Knee to Chest

    Back single knee exercise

    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.

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    Body Flexion

    back flexion

    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.

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    Runner's Stretch

    back runner stretch

    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.

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    Advanced Reach

    back reach stretch

    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 ten seconds. Go back to starting position. Repeat position with left leg and right arm. Do the exercise ten times alternating legs/arms.

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    Hyperextension

    hyperextension
    hyperextension

    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.


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    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.

    Do you NEED spine surgery?


    Do you have pain that radiates into an arm or leg?

       Yes    No

    Do you have any numbess or weakness in a foot or hand?

       Yes    No

    Have you had an MRI within the last 12 months?

       Yes    No

    Provide contant information below so we can advise you based on your above symptoms:

       

    Dr Harvinder Deogun, physical medicine scottsdale, physical medicine phoenix

    Harvinder S. Deogun, M.D.

    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    Dr Harvinder Deogun, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix
    Dr Brian Fitzpatrick, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix

    Brian C. Fitzpatrick, M.D.

    Board Certified Neurosurgeon

    Dr Brian Fitzpatrick, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix
    Dr Frederick Marciano, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix

    Frederick F. Marciano, M.D., Ph.D.

    Board Certified Neurosurgeon

    Dr Frederick Marciano, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix

    Francisco Ponce, M.D.

    Board Certified Neurosurgeon

    Dr Francisco Ponce, neurosurgeon, phoenix, scottsdale
    Dr Luis Tumialan, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix

    Luis M. Tumialán, M.D.

    Board Certified Neurosurgeon

    Dr Luis Tumialan, neurosurgeon scottsdale, neurosurgeon phoenix

    John E. Wanebo, M.D.

    Board Certified Neurosurgeon

    Dr John Wanebo, neurosurgeon, phoenix, scottsdale