Back pain is very common. In fact, according to a study published in 2014 by "BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders," 80% of people will have back pain in their lifetime. The goods news is, there are many effective treatments for back pain that don't require surgery or medications.
Williams flexion exercises are one type of treatment for back pain. These exercises focus on a bending movement in your lower back. Williams flexion exercises are made up of seven movements: pelvic tilt, single knee to chest, double knee to chest, partial sit-up, hamstring stretch, hip flexor stretch and squat.
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Some back conditions can be aggravated by this movement. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your back pain before attempting flexion exercises.
Pelvic tilt exercises strengthen muscles that support your low back.
Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend your knees and rest your feet flat on the floor. Relax your arms next to your sides.
Press your lower back into the ground as if you are pulling your bellybutton back toward your spine. The muscles in the lower half of your abdomen should be tight. Do not hold your breath.
Hold the pelvic tilt for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat up to 15 times.
Knee to Chest Stretches
Knee to chest stretches improve flexibility in your low back.
Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend one leg and bring your knee in toward your chest.
Reach around your knee with both hands and gently pull your knee in closer to your body. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this stretch up to 15 times on each leg.
Perform the double knee to chest stretch by bringing both knees toward your chest at the same time. Gently pull them in closer using your arms. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat up to 15 times.
Partial sit-ups strengthen the upper and lower abdominal muscles at the same time.
First, perform a pelvic tilt. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck.
Keeping your pelvis tilted, tighten your upper abdominal muscles and lift your shoulder blades up off the ground. Do not pull on your neck- your arms are only there to support the weight of your head. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat up to 15 times.
Read more: Stretches for a Sore Lower Back
The hamstring stretch improves flexibility of the muscles along the back of your thighs.
Sit with both legs out in front of you. Keep your knees straight and toes pointed toward the ceiling.
Reach forward toward your toes with both hands until you feel a stretch along the back of your legs.
Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat up to 10 times.
Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexor muscles are located at the front of your hips. These muscles are often tight, particularly if you sit a lot during the day.
To stretch your right hip flexors, step your left foot out approximately two feet in front of you. Keep your right knee straight and bend your left knee.
Bend forward over your left knee until your left armpit is resting on your knee. Place your hands on the ground in front of you to help maintain your balance.
Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat up to 10 times. Switch legs to stretch your left hip flexors.
The squat exercise strengthens muscles in your hips. Perform this exercise near a sturdy surface if you have difficulty with your balance.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Looking straight ahead, squat down as far as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms out in front of you to improve your balance.
Hold this position for 5 seconds, then stand back up. Repeat up to 10 times.
- Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina: Lumbar Flexion Exercises
- Pakistan Journal of Medicine and Dentistry: Effectiveness of William's Flexion Exercises in Management of Low Back Pain
- Healthcare: A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain
- The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy: Low Back Pain
- BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders: An Update of Stabilisation Exercises for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
- Alpine Orthopaedic and Spine, P.C.: Williams Flexion Exercises