People with spine extension problems have spines that extend very well. In fact, they extend so well that their spines are almost stuck in that position. In other words, they have a difficult time flattening or flexing the spine.
When bending with a spine extension problem, draw your belly button in toward your spine and bend forward from your pelvis, keeping your spine as straight as possible until you reach all the way down or until your pelvis stops flexing forward, whichever comes first. You should have experienced less pain while bending down. This is because you kept your spine straight instead of allowing it to bend. This is closer to how you should be bending forward, even though it feels unnatural. Remember, unnatural isn't bad, it's just different than what you're used to -- and what you're used to is the reason you've been in pain!
To return to standing, draw your belly button in toward the spine to scoop the lower abdominal muscles, and hinge from the pelvis to pull yourself back up. You will feel your hamstrings and paraspinal muscles (the muscles on both sides of the spine) working hard to do this. If your spinal muscles aren't strong enough to maintain spinal extension while straightening up, then use your hands on your thighs or a table to assist you. Just the opposite of people with extension problems, you need to keep your back straight when coming up. You will notice that your back feels less pain when returning this way. If you have trouble initiating this from the bent-over position, bend your knees to help your pelvis and spine lock in their positions before coming up. Bending your knees de-emphasizes hamstring length, which may be lacking, and helps maintain back extension.
More Answers from Rick Olderman