Therapeutic exercises for the L5-S1 disk include flexion exercises such as prone press-ups, according to PubMed Central. Abdominal bracing exercises, including bridge pose, planks and hip hinging, improve motor control and strengthen the muscles directly protecting the spine. A patient follows several progressions of plank as the muscles become stronger. Bodyweight lunges and squats help strengthen the lower back, and advanced progressions include using weighted resistance to improve tissue healing.
Increasing flexibility improves a person's ability to move through a broad range of motion with normal spinal movement and prevents excess force on joints, according to Mayfield Clinic. Stretching is helpful to prepare muscles for vigorous activity and reduce strain following exercise. A person lies on the floor with the back relaxed to perform a knees-to-chest stretch. He pulls the knees in to the chest until there is a light stretch. The pose is held for five seconds and repeated for five repetitions.
Maintaining a regular exercise program is important for overall back function, including strengthening exercises such as abdominal curl ups and prone trunk raises, states Mayfield Clinic. Curl ups are beneficial for developing abdominal muscles, which stabilize the spine and improve posture. Lying on the floor with arms to the side, a person bends his knees so the feet are flat on the floor. The pelvis tilts and shoulders raise until the shoulder blades clear the floor. The person holds the position for five to 10 seconds then repeats the movement 10 times.