Ankle pumps, heel slides, abdominal contractions and wall squats are helpful beginner-level exercises to deal with back pain. As strength builds, it is possible to move on to exercises that provide greater resistance, as explained by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
As recovery begins, patients should exercise their backs between 10 and 30 minutes, one to three times a day, and any increases in activity should only take place following permission from a physical therapist or physician, depending on the individual patient's health care situation. Ankle pumps involve lying on the back and moving ankles up and down 10 times. Heel slides involve lying on the back and then bending and straightening the knees 10 times, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Abdominal contractions involve lying down on the back with hands below the ribs and knees bent. Tightening the abdominal muscles should focus on pushing the ribs toward the back. To complete the exercise, patients hold the position for five seconds before relaxing and repeating 10 times. It is important to breathe normally throughout the exercise, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Wall squats involve standing with the back pressed against the wall and walking the feet out a foot from the wall. Patients should bend their knees at 45 degrees while keeping their abdominal muscles tight. Holding this position for five seconds before returning to the upright position and repeating it 10 times finishes the exercise, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.