Some time ago I injured my lower back, I believe at the time the physiotherapist I saw referred to it as a "l4/l5 disc bulge" and also seems to have caused a bit of sciatica. The injury slowly cleared hence I stopped seeing the physiotherapist, but it has recently recurred.
In order to help strengthen my body in general and help my back in the long term as the physio recommended exercise and slowly strengthening the lower back to relieve the pain I have taken up going to the gym. At the moment my regime mainly involves the following:
- Fast walk/Jog (6kp/h) for ~20 minutes
- Recumbent exercise bike, ~20-30 minutes
- Shoulder Press Machine (upper body only)
I have also been doing some work using an exercise ball to flex my lower back without putting too much stress on it. So far I have managed to avoid making the pain any worse and in fact the pain has lessened a good deal. Keeping it loose and mobile seems to be of benefit for my particular injury.
What I want is to increase my running stamina so that I can run/jog for longer periods without causing undue stress on my lower back. I would like to be able to get up to ~10 miles run/jog within 6 months.
Is there any other (preferrably gym based) methods for increasing my stamina and overall body strength without causing problems?
Would a back brace or similar help at all?