Move Well Physiotherapy Exercises for Lumbar Disc Injuries
1. Prone lying on elbows: 2-3 minutes x 2-3 times per day
2. Lumbar Rotations: Repeat 15 times, x 3 per day
3. Lumbar Rotations with SLR: Repeat 15 times, x 3 per day
4. Knee-to-chest stretches: Repeat with each leg 2–3 times twice a day
5. Cat stretches: Repeat 3–5 times twice a day
6. Seated lower back rotational stretches: Repeat on each side 3–5 times twice a day
1. Prone lying on elbows
Lie on your stomach propped up on your elbows for 2-3 minutes x 2-3 times per day. If you have been sitting for any period of time, you should do this exercise immediately afterwards if possible. This can be done in standing with your hands placed on your lower back, stretching backwards.
2. Lumbar Rotations
Lying on your back knees bent. Roll your knees side to side keeping your shoulders on the ground and feeling stretch in your lower back. Repeat 15 times, x 3 per day.
3. Lumbar Rotations with SLR
Lying on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent. Pull the bent leg across your body and rotate your lower back, keeping your shoulders on the ground. Then straighten the top leg and hold for 30 seconds to stretch down the top leg, then bend the knee to relax the stretch without letting go of the lumbar rotation. Repeat 15 times, x 3 per day
4. Knee-to-chest stretches
This helps to breakdown any facial restrictions and improves T-spine mobility. Doing a knee-to-chest stretch can help elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain. To perform the knee-to-chest stretch: Lie on the back on the floor, bend the knees, keeping both feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull one knee in toward the chest hold the knee against the chest for 5 seconds, keeping the abdominals tight and pressing the spine into the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat with each leg 2–3 times twice a day.
5. Cat stretches
The cat stretch can help lengthen the back, make it stronger, and ease tension in the muscles.
To perform the cat stretch:
• Get onto the hands and knees with the knees hip-width apart.
• Arch the back, pulling the bellybutton up toward the spine.
• Slowly relax the muscles and allow the abdomen to sag toward the floor.
• Return to the starting position.
• Repeat 3–5 times twice a day
6. Seated lower back rotational stretches
The seated lower back rotational stretch helps relieve pain, working the core muscles and strengthening the lower back.
To perform the seated lower back rotational stretch:
• Sit on a stool or chair without arms, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
• Twist at the core to the right, keeping the hips square and the spine tall.
• Position the hands behind the head or place the left hand on the right knee to support the stretch.
• Hold the position for 10 seconds.
• Repeat the exercise on the left-hand side.
• Repeat on each side 3–5 times twice a day.