Years ago I had a discectomy for a herniated disc (L5). Back in those days this type of surgery involved bloodletting by leeches…okay so maybe it just felt that way but you get the picture.

Without going into the boring details, I will tell you that going under the knife was necessary as, in addition to a disc herniation, I also had a bone spur resting on my sciatic nerve. I had a well-respected neurosurgeon who worked a small miracle.

What was my outcome?
Permanent nerve and muscle damage that travels from my lower back and twists through the right side of my hip, glutes, upper leg, knee, lower leg, ankle, the first two toes and ball of my right foot. I feel enormously lucky as my outcome could have been worse.

One of a handful of recovery exercises that I was taught to perform, through physical therapy, and that I still practice daily is the pelvic tilt. It takes the tension away from my lower back, tightens my abdominals and reminds me to be self-aware of my pelvic posture.

The muscles worked in this exercise are the gluteus maximus, hamstrings and abdominals.

Here’s the exercise:

While laying on your back, bend knees, keep feet flat on floor and rest arms at your side or on your ribcage. Keep neck, scapulae, spine and pelvis in neutral. There should be a small curvature under the lower back.

Take a deep breath and relax. While exhaling, press lower back to the floor while also tightening your abdominals and glutes.  Avoid pushing with your feet as the press comes from your abdominals. Hold for a 3-6 seconds. While inhaling, return to the original position.

Repeat fifteen times.

Need further advice or want more lower back recovery exercises? Please leave a comment…