Straight leg raises, heel raises, wall squats and heel slides are all simple physical therapy exercises designed to fight back pain. As patients build strength, exercises offering more resistance become appropriate, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Straight leg raises involve lying on the back, bending one knee while keeping the other leg straight. After tightening the abdominal muscles, the next step is to lift the straight leg slowly until it is no more than a foot off the ground. After holding it there for up to five seconds, it is time to lower it slowly. The goal is 10 repetitions for each leg, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Heel raises involve standing with weight distributed evenly on both feet before raising heels up and down 10 times. Wall squats begin with standing against the wall, leaning with the back before walking the feet 12 inches ahead of the body. One repetition consists of bending both knees at a 45-degree angle while holding the abdominal muscles tight, holding for five seconds and then returning to an upright position. Performing 10 repetitions completes the exercise, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Heel slides begin with lying on the back, then bending and straightening each knee 10 times, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.