If you have an extension problem (a spine that extends so well you have a difficult time flattening or flexing it), you will benefit from letting your back relax into the floor.
If you have a flexion problem (people with spine flexion problems typically lack pelvic flexibility), you will benefit from a folded towel or ice pack under your lower back to promote extension.
If you have a rotation problem (a spine that is rotated to one direction), you may find that a folded towel under one hip or under one side of your lower back helps ease the pain.
Find and maintain the best position for you. As the pain lessens and while in ideal alignment, try to stabilize your back by gently activating your lower abdominals. Forcefully exhaling will help to get these muscles firing.
Pain inhibits muscle function, and your muscles' ability to adequately stabilize your spine is compromised when you are experiencing severe pain. A two- to three-inch-wide belt strapped tightly around your waist will help stabilize your spine and reduce the pain. This is a good temporary fix until the pain decreases and you're better able to stabilize your spine on your own.
After your pain has diminished, you can try sitting in a chair with your back supported similarly to your position on the floor. H42For instance, a person with extension problems should try to flatten his spine against the back of the chair while someone with a flexion problem should use a rolled up towel or ice pack to maintain some back extension. Rest and allow your back to adjust to this position. Again, practice turning on your lower abdominals to stabilize your spine in ideal alignment.
Eventually try standing with your back against the wall for support, activating your lower abdominals to stabilize your spine. Gradually walk away from the wall with your spine stabilized to protect it. You may only get as far as one step before you feel the need to lean against the wall. That's okay. Return to the wall and relax your back again. Continue attempting to walk with your spine stabilized and in good alignment. You may need to wear the belt for the next couple days until the pain is manageable.