Back problems are some of the most common yet painful injuries people endure. A pinched nerve can be debilitating and can cause shooting pain throughout the lower legs, back and pelvic regions. By strengthening the core muscles and improving flexibility, you can reduce the recurrence of pain with simple exercises done at home.
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The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, or AAOS, recommends you exercise your back 10 to 30 minutes a day, one to three times per day during the early stages of recovery. One exercise they suggest is the abdominal contraction. Lie on your back with knees bent and hands gently resting on the abdominals, just beneath the ribs. Tighten your ab muscles, squeeze your ribs toward the back, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Be sure not to hold your breath during this exercise and repeat 10 times.
Knee to chest stretch
The knee to chest stretch is also recommended by the AAOS. Lie on your back and bend both knees. Hold on to the back of your thigh and pull one leg toward your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with your other leg. Do this exercise five times per leg.
Hip flexor stretch
Lie on your back near the edge of your bed and hold your knees in to your chest. Gently lower one leg down toward the floor, keeping that knee bent while holding the other knee into your chest. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat this same exercise with your other leg. Repeat the exercise five times per leg.
The Mayo Clinic suggests the cat stretch as part of your back rehabilitation regime. Position yourself with both hands and knees on the floor. Arch your back as if pulling your abdomen toward the ceiling, then return to the starting position. Repeat 20 times.
Lower back rotational stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Keep your back and shoulders stationary and slowly rotate your knees to one side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to the original position. Repeat on the opposite side. Do this exercise five times on each side.
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