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Back exercises are not enough. You also increase your aerobic capacity to improve your overall diseaseing. By using all your muscles, not only your back muscles, you can recruit your abdominal and thigh muscles to support your back.

An Exercise Prescription

You need a program that works best for you. Here's my recipe to get you started with Lower Back Extensions:

Begin with isometric exercises. Flat on the floor or in bed, bend your knees. Focus on strengthening the abdomen and buttocks while keeping your back to the floor. Keep these 5 to 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat this 10 times. You can do it several times a day.

Once the back is less painful and more flexible you are ready to try to extension exercises. Get on your belly and slowly push yourself on your elbows to support your upper body. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep your hips on the floor, gradually increasing the time that you keep yourself a few minutes, no more than 5 minutes at a time. If the pain starts, get down and try again. If the pain comes every time, you may need to switch to flexion exercises.

A simple bending exercise: Lie on your back with a towel or pillow under your head low and neck. Bend your knees. Grab your right leg below the knee and pull toward your chest. Hold the position for about 20 seconds and slowly release; alternate with the left leg. Repeat this 10 times. This can often be repeated throughout the day.

Once your back is a little looser, you are ready for a low-impact aerobic exercise routine, including walking, cycling on a stationary bike, or water exercise to boot. Water exercise is particularly useful for patients with significant pain and stiffness, because the water helps support the spine. Start with 10 minutes sessions each day and gradually increasing to 40 minutes a day. If the daily aerobics can be tiring, make it into an every-other-day routine.

More advanced exercises abdominal muscles with modified sit-ups. Lie flat on your back with knees bent. Support your head with your fingers and raise your head six inches off the floor, to concentrate on pushing your lower back down and tightening the abdominal muscles. As you progress, you can start with a slight twisting motion to add on one side and then the other at the top of the elevator. If your back starts to hurt, stop immediately. Take some slow deep breaths to help relax the muscles.

Stretching should be incorporated into your exercise program. You should stretch immediately after your aerobic, while your muscles are warm. If you just plan to stretch, you still need to heat up for 10 minutes prior to stretching. A good stretch of a muscle group consists of a slow change in the position until you feel a certain tension, but no pain. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, do not bounce. If you are very stiff, some just go away for 15 seconds, from the shelves, and then to go in for another 15 seconds.

Keeping pain in the back of the returning

Now your back is better, do not stop your exercise program in lower back extensions. You might want to step through a combination of aerobics, strength training and stretching. Ideally you want to aim for 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Always be aware of your posture, make sure your back is well positioned in a lift or a rack.