During a recent bout of severe lower back pain, my physiotherapist put me on a course of back exercises to alleviate my back pain.

I have to say that I was somewhat surprised given that I was in so much pain, but it actually worked and helped me recover quickly.

The theory behind stretching your back – even when you have a sore lower back – is that by extending the back muscles, you give relief to your back by taking pressure off the affected areas.

If you suffer form a herniated disc, your physio may have you do back exercises for disc problems because it will relieve the pressure caused by the herniated disc on the spinal nerves.

The back exercise I found most helpful was “the cat”. In this exercise, you get down on your hands and knees and arch your back up for a few seconds just like a cat. When you do this, you can feel the stretch in your lower back muscles.

Depending on how much pain you are in, your physio may recommend doing back exercises several times during the day. Don’t overdo things though. The last thing you want is to re-injure yourself.

One of the most popular lower back exercise programs is the McKenzie back exercises. Robin McKenzie is a famous physiotherapist from New Zealand whose techniques have been practiced for many years.

McKenzie believes that people suffer from back pain as a result of poor posture or bending incorrectly when lifting. The book advocates a series of back exercises including many safe lower back exercises which help make the back more flexible by extending the spine and improve your posture. (Note: talk with a doctor or physiotherapist before using this approach.)

One of the most popular items for back exercises is a Swiss ball, also known as an exercise ball or a fitness ball. Low back exercises with a Swiss ball really give you a good stretch.

A word of caution though. When you first start using a Swiss ball, take it easy. I slid off it a few times and if I’d had a sore back, this could have been painful. But when you do low back exercises on a Swiss ball, you are going to love the feeling that the stretch gives you.

If you like swimming or being in a pool, look into exercise programs that involve back exercises in a pool. You will find them at your local YMCA or swimming pool.

What’s good about doing back exercise in the pool is that the water takes the pressure off your back giving you more freedom to move and stretch your back.

At first it seems odd to be doing exercises when your lower back is sore, but I’ve learned that depending on your situation, it can be one of the best things you can do to get on the road to recovery.

Source by Frank Thornton