Back exercise 1 - The Knee Wobble

This exercise is designed for anyone.

It is relaxing, it helps promote spinal healing if you have a problem. It is gentle and so appliable for all ages and severity of your condition (as long as you can lie on the floor or a firm surface).

Lie on your back with your head resting on about 5 inches (12 cm) of books, tilting your neck so that you can comfortably look at your knees.

Have your knees flexed and feet together on the surface.

Wobble your knees just a little - about 1 inch (2.5cm) either side of the midline. Gradually reduce the degree of motion to the point of not quite being able to tell if you are moving them or not.

Keep this up for 5 - 10 minutes.

Rest in the same position for a further 5 minutes afterwards before getting up.

This exercise helps relax your spinal muscles and ligaments in the base of the spine. It also helps the spinal fluids around the spinal cord and is based on cranial osteopathic principles

Back Exercise 2 - Sideways bend

(Not for those in severe pain)

This exercise is simple and is good when feeling a bit stiff when doing physical work e.g. gardening in the summer or shovelling snow in winter. If doing physically hard work, take a few minutes out to do this exercise every 20 minutes. By doing this you will find that your back is less tired at the end of your activity.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.

Slide the palm of your hand down the outside of your thigh as far as comfortable, then return and repeat on the other side.

Alternate repeating 5 times each side. Doing it smoothly and rhythmically.

This simple exercise stretches out the spinal ligaments and muscles but not by forward bending. As a consequence it does not put your discs at so much risk.

Back exercise 3 - Gentle knee pull

N.B. if in doubt whether to do this exercise, call Tim Marris for osteopathic advice on 07886 606235.

This exercise should NOT be done if you have a history of sciatica or disc pain, unless advised by a practitioner. This exercise should be done AFTER you have been active for a while in the morning, NOT on waking. When you first get up in the morning your body is at its most stiff time and hence more likely to over strain when doing this exercise.

If you have stiffness and general aching in the back it can help loosen your spine.

Lie on your back with your knees flexed. Hold on to your knees with your forarms and gently and rhythmincally pull your knees towards you and then release the tension.

Repeat for about 2-3 minutes.

Lie and rest on your back for 5 minutes with your knees flexed and feet on the floor.

This helps free the stiffness in the spinal ligaments and muscles.