T Nation

Monday - Any Questions?

I think I’m caught up from last week. Any new questions?

Dr. Ryan,

What type of low back exercise do you suggest for your patients who have sitting/desk type jobs and have chronic low back type conditions. And to clarify, not just rehab/get over the pain type things, but preventive measures.


keith wassung


Check out the Cool Tips archive for the Get on a Roll tip. This helps to maintain the lumbar lordosis while sitting. Typically the back flattens out when sitting without support. Due to the viscoelastic nature of discs, ligaments and muscles, this flattening, combined with the increased intradiscal pressure, can result in irritation to these tissues.

The roll helps to prevent some of this strain, although it does not reduce the pressure from sitting. Therefore, it is a good idea to stand up frequently to decompress the spine.

Obviously stretching the hip flexors and hamstrings, which are placed in a shortened position from sitting is helpful to prevent problems.

Prayer stretches followed by repetitive prone extensions (McKenzie press-ups) helps as well.

Variations of bridges, reverse hypers, back extensions, bird-dogs, planks, side-bridges, dead-bugs, lunges, squats and a few other exercises usually do the trick. Swiss balls can be used with some of the above variations as well.

Spinal muscle endurance is more important than overall strength.

The article that I am doing will have pictures of these exercises plus other info.

Take care,