Dr. Paul Williams developed the Williams' flexion exercises to treat low-back pain in women under the age of 40 and men under the age of 50, according to BackTrainer.com. Physical therapists often recommend these exercises to treat back pain when the cause of pain is unknown. Seek medical advice before starting this or any other type of treatment for a back condition.
Williams believed excessive curve in the lower back causes pain in this area. The pelvic tilt exercise counteracts this curvature and improves flexibility by gently stretching the lower back. Pelvic tilts are gentle enough to perform early in your treatment. To perform a pelvic tilt, lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. From there, gently press your lower back into the floor while breathing normally. BackTrainer.com suggests holding the stretch for up to 10 seconds. Release and repeat several times.
One aim of the Williams' flexion exercises is to reduce pain by building strength in the abdominal, buttock and thigh muscles. Strengthening these muscles leads to increased support for your back, which helps relieve pressure. The lunge exercise boosts strength in your abs, glutes and thighs and gently stretches the front of the hips. Many people who suffer from back pain hold considerable tension in their hip flexors, which can worsen pain. To perform a lunge, begin on your hands and knees. Step forward on one foot and extend your other leg behind you. Slowly lower your hips toward the floor. You should feel a stretch down the front of your straight leg and in your lower back. Repeat up to four times and switch legs.
The squat is another exercise in the Williams' flexion series. For a squat, the Body Pros website recommends standing with your feet a little more than hip-width apart with your knees and toes pointing forward. Keep your back as straight as possible as you slowly lower yourself into a squat. Draw your bottom toward your ankles and the backs of your thighs toward your calves. Williams directed people to bounce the buttocks slightly 15 to 20 times when seated in the squat position. It’s important to maintain total control and move in and out of the squat position carefully to avoid further injury to your back.