Low back pain is one of the most common issues we see at Avala Physical Therapy. In fact, 80% of all Americans experience low back pain (LBP) at some point in life. Of those cases, 80% will get better WITHOUT surgery!

Avala Physical Therapy would like to review two common low back syndromes and what you can do for relief:

  • Disc material in the spine compresses nerve tissue causing pain that radiates into the buttock and sometimes down the leg.
  • Forward bending usually increases the pain because this motion forces the disc material further onto the nerve tissue.
  • Exercises that encourage extension or backward bending of the spine can move the material off the nerve root and relieve pain.
  • This syndrome occurs when tissues shorten and lead to loss of mobility and increased pain.
  • Pain usually occurs at the end of your range of motion and goes away once you move away from end range.
  • Goal with exercises in dysfunction syndrome is to lengthen shortened tissues without causing trauma.


  • Start with the first exercise and only progress to the next if you can perform the exercise without increasing pain in your buttock or leg.
  • Prone Lying: Lay on your tummy for 5 – 10 minutes. It is best to lay on the firmest surface available. If you have trouble lying flat in prone position, try placing a pillow under your abdomen and gradually remove it as tolerated.
  • Prone on Elbows: Stay prone and prop up on your elbows for 30 seconds; then lower until you are flat again. Repeat 10 times.
  • Prone Press-up: While lying prone, relax your lower body and use arms to press yourself up. Keep your hips on the ground and press up as far as you can comfortably. Make sure you do not hold your breath. This is a PASSIVE exercise for the lower body. Your upper body should be doing all the work.

Do these exercises 3 – 5 time a day. You want to see the pain move out of your leg and buttock. You may have some increase in LBP but if the leg pain is better you are improving. Stop these exercises if they make your leg pain worse or travel further down your leg!

  • Start with the first exercise and progress to the next only if you can do 10 repetitions without pain. Any pain produced by stretching should stop shortly once you release the stretch.
  • Flexion in Lying: Lay on your back with knees bent and pull your knees to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and return to hook lying position.
  • Flexion in Sitting: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet on the floor. Bend forward as far as you comfortably can. Hold for 10 seconds and return to sitting.
  • Flexion in Standing: Stand with feet hip distance apart. Slowly bend forward as far as you comfortably can and hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Slowly return to standing position.


If you have questions about Avala Physical Therapy or one of its programs, call and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Physical Therapist experts today at 985.801.6265.

A physician referral is not necessary and there is no charge for this consultation

Thanks for reading. I hope you found something useful in this weeks article. Check in next week for more tips and tricks on how to get healthy and stay that way.

Paul Jones, Director of Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Services
Avala Physical Therapy