In the preceding article, I briefly discussed my employing the Willams' exercises for lower back pain relief and rehab that led to my successful recovery. A brief history and description of the exercises were also mentioned. The following are illustrations of the lying exercises I performed for my therapy.
Illustrated Lying Exercises for Intermediate to Acute Pain
Pelvic tilts are an exercise comprised of very subtle movements that strengthen the support muscles around the low back, particularly the abdominals. They are a good preliminary exercise for those seeking low back pain relief, and they feel great because they give your back a little massage.
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on mat, hands at sides, palms down. Inhale first. Then initiate the pelvic tilt movement as you exhale.
Tighten and contract muscles of the abdomen and buttocks so as to push the lower back flat against the mat (see direction of the arrow in above photo). Hold the position from 3 to 5 seconds.
Inhale to come back to start. Allow the spine and pelvis to return to their original position. Relax. Do 5 times or as recommended.
Variation: To increase the space between the mat and your lower back, slide your hands directly under the sides of your hips.
Single Knee to Chest
This exercise stretches the muscles of the buttocks, back of thighs and hips.
Gently pull one knee up to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Bring the knee as close to your chest as comfortably possible.
Keep the opposite leg relaxed in a comfortable position, either with your knee bent or with your leg extended. Hold the position from 3 to 5 seconds. Do 5 times. Repeat with opposite leg. Repeat 5 times or as recommended.
Variation: As you progress, tuck in your chin, raise your head and shoulders off the mat, and bring your forehead as close to your knee as you can and hold the position from 3 to 5 seconds.
Illustrations of Lying Exercises for Mild Pain and Recovery
Double Knee to Chest
This exercise stretches the muscles of the lower back.
While lying on your back, slowly lift both knees to your chest. Do NOT bring both knees up at the same time. Bring the left knee toward your chest and hold it there with your left hand.
Bring the right knee toward your chest and hold it there with your right hand. Wrap your arms around your legs just below your knees, and pull them to your chest. Hold the stretch for 3 to 5 seconds.
Relax and lower the legs slowly, one after the other. Repeat 5 times or as recommended.
Variation: As you progress, tuck in your chin, raise your head and shoulders off the mat, and bring your forehead as close to your knees as you can and hold.
Lying Leg Raise or Hamstring Stretch
This exercises the lower back and hamstring muscles.
Lie on back, knees bent with feet flat on mat, arms at sides, palms down. Raise left leg up as far as comfortable without overstretching muscles behind the leg.
Return left leg to starting position and repeat 5 times. Repeat exercise with right leg. Do 5 times or as recommended.
Variation: As you progress, straighten the raised leg at the knee so the toes point towards you. This stretches the hamstrings or the muscles behind the leg.
The partial situp exercise is Williams' flexion exercise targeting the abs. The exercise combines a pelvic tilt to flatten the lower back and a short range situp to flex the top of the spine.
Lie flat on the mat, hands clasped behind neck (or crossed in front of the chest), knees bent, feet flat on the mat. Do the pelvic tilt (exercise 1) and, while holding this position, slowly curl your head and shoulders off the mat as indicated by the arrow.
Tighten buttocks while lifting the head and shoulders without pulling on neck. Hold the position at around 60 degrees (to horizontal) for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times or as recommended.
Variation: As you progress, hold the raised position also at 30 degrees for 3 seconds on the way down.
If there is unusual persistent pain, consulting with a doctor would be the best thing you could do. The Medical Departures link below will let you find the best and affordable doctors in the field. Find one now!