Prophylaxis for Lumbar Spine

Prophylaxis for Lumbar Spine

General Instructions – When Recovered from Acute Low Back Pain


                You have recovered from an acute episode because of your ability to master the exercises which relieved your pain.  These exercises must be repeated whenever situations arise which have previously caused pain.  You must perform the corrective movements before the onset of pain.  This is essential.



  • When sitting for prolonged periods, maintenance of the lordosis is essential.  It does not matter if you maintain this with your own muscles or with the help of a supportive roll placed in the small of your back.
  • In addition to sitting correctly with a lumbar support, you should interrupt prolonged sitting at regular intervals.  On extended car rides you should get out of the car every hour, stand upright, bend backwards 5-6 times, and walk around for a few minutes.



  • When engaged in activities which require prolonged forward bending or stooping – for example, gardening, vacuuming, concreting – you must stand upright, restore the lordosis and bend backwards 5-6 times before pain commences.
  • Frequent interruption of prolonged bending by reversing the curve in the low back should enable you to continue with most activities you enjoy, even with some you do not enjoy.



  • If the load to be lifted weighs over 20 pounds, the strain must be taken with the low back in lordosis and you must lift by straightening your legs.
  • If the object weighs less then 20 pounds, less care is required, unless you have been in a bent or sitting position for some time prior to lifting.  In the latter case you must lift as if the weight exceeds 20 pounds.
  • In addition to correct lifting technique, you must stand upright and bend backwards 5-6 times after lifting.



  • At the first signs of reoccurrence of low back pain, you should immediately start the exercises which previously led to recovery and follow the instructions given for when in acute pain.
  • If this episode of low back pain seems to be different than on previous occasions, and if your pain persists despite following the instructions, you should contact our office, (860) 585-5800 or (203) 272-8490; or your referring physicians’ office.



  • If you lose the lordosis for any length of time, you are risking the reoccurrence of low back pain.



Craig Zettergren, PT, MS, MBA is a fellowship trained physical therapist in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy for the spine and extremities with the McKenzie Institute.  He has two offices servicing Central Connecticut, the towns ofBristol,Southington, Plantsville Cheshire andMeriden.  TheBristoloffice is located at72 Pine Street, (860) 585- 5800 and theSouthingtonoffice is located at 1090 Meriden-Waterbury Tpke., (203) 272-8490

Personal, Professional, Physical Therapy





1. McKenzie, RA (1981): The Lumbar Spine: Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Spinal Publications, New Zealand LTD , 2. McKenzie, RA (2003): The Lumbar Spine: Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Spinal Publications, New Zealand LTD, 3. McKenzie, RA (1994):Treat your own Back, Spinal Publications, New Zealand LTD

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