Standing Back Extensions

Standing back extensions, also known as repeated lumbar extension in standing, are a useful exercise for patients suffering from lower back pain. At Lederman Chiropractic & Sports Medicine, we utilize the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT). MDT allows us to effectively assess and classify patients to guide the appropriate treatment approach. When a directional preference for lumbar extension is found, standing back extensions are a good starting point.

Standing back extensions

How to perform:

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Place both of your hands behind your lower back at about the belt-line with one of three options: the back of your hands, the palms of your hands (pictured), or with your hands formed as fists
  • Use your hands/fists to push your hips forward
  • Extend backwards until you reach your end-range position (it may take multiple reps to achieve full range of motion)
  • Perform repeatedly for at least 10-15 reps
  • Perform 5-6 sets or more as needed per day (every 1-2 hours)
  • You do not need to hold the end position

Other notes on the exercise:

  • Assess your low back range of motion before/after performing the exercise to see if an improvement occurs (bend forwards/backwards and push your hips side to side)
  • Assess your low back pain severity before/after performing (the exercise may temporarily increase your back pain when performing, but the pain should not remain increased after about 10-20 minutes afterwards)
  • If the exercise increases your low back pain and remains increased afterwards, discontinue continue performing
  • If the exercise decreases your low back pain during and afterwards, continue performing
  • If the exercise improves your range of motion afterwards, continue performing

We always recommend getting an evaluation for any new or recurrent episode of low back pain to make sure that the proper home exercise is prescribed and to rule out other causes of your low back pain that are not musculoskeletal.

If you have any questions or comments do not hesistate to contact the office via phone or e-mail!

Yours in health,

The Lederman Chiropractic & Sports Medicine Team


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