Exercises for lower back pain

  • Low back pain is very common among adults and is often caused by overuse and muscle strain or injury. Treatment can help you stay as active as possible. And it will help you understand that some continued or repeated back pain is not surprising or dangerous.
  • Most low back pain can get better if you stay active, avoid positions and activities that may increase or cause back pain, use ice, and take nonprescription pain relievers when you need them.
  • When you no longer have acute pain, you may be ready for gentle strengthening exercises for your stomach, back, and legs, and perhaps for some stretching exercises. Exercise may not only help decrease low back pain, but it may also help you recover faster, prevent reinjury to your back, and reduce the risk of disability from back pain.
  • Exercises to reduce low back pain are not complicated and can be done at home without any special equipment.
  • It’s important that you don’t let fear of pain keep you from trying gentle activity. You should try to be active soon after noticing pain, and gradually increase your activity level. Too little activity can lead to loss of flexibility, strength, and endurance, and then to more pain.

A series of exercise routines you can do to help reduce any lower back pain (occasionally referred to as low back pain), including tension, stiffness and soreness.

These exercises from physiotherapist and BackCare expert Nick Sinfield help to stretch, strengthen and mobilise the lower back.

You are advised to seek medical advice before starting theseback pain exercises, and to stop immediately if you feel any pain.

Bottom to heels stretch

Stretches and mobilises the spine

Start position: Kneel on all fours, with your knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Don’t over-arch your lower back. Keep your neck long, your shoulders back and don’t lock your elbows.

Action: Slowly take your bottom backwards, maintaining the natural curve in the spine. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.

Repeat eight to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Avoid sitting back on your heels if you have a knee problem.
  • Ensure correct positioning with the help of a mirror.
  • Only stretch as far as feels comfortable.

Knee rolls

Stretches and mobilises the spine

 

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small flat cushion or book under your head. Keep your knees bent and together. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: Roll your knees to one side, followed by your pelvis, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position

Repeat eight to 10 times, alternating sides.

Tips:

  • Only move as far as feels comfortable.
  • Place a pillow between your knees for comfort.

 

Back extensions

Stretches and mobilises the spine backwards

Start position: Lie on your stomach, and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long.

Action: Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards. Breathe and hold for five to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.

Repeat eight to 10 times.

Tips: 

  • Don’t bend your neck backwards.
  • Keep your hips grounded. 

 

Deep abdominal strengthening

Strengthens the deep supporting muscles around the spine

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: As you breathe out, draw up the muscles of your pelvis and lower abdominals, as though you were doing up an imaginary zip along your stomach. Hold this gentle contraction while breathing from your abdomen for five to 10 breaths and relax.

Repeat five times.

Tips:

  • This is a slow, gentle tightening of the lower abdominal region. Don’t pull these muscles in using more than 25% of your maximum strength.
  • Make sure you don’t tense up through the neck, shoulders or legs.

 

Pelvic tilts

Stretches and strengthens the lower back

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.

Action: Gently flatten your low back into the floor and contract your stomach muscles. Now tilt your pelvis towards your heels until you feel a gentle arch in your lower back, feeling your back muscles contracting and return to the starting position. 

Repeat 10 to 15 times, tilting your pelvis back and forth in a slow rocking motion.

Tips:

  • Keep your deep abdominals working throughout.
  • Don’t press down through the neck, shoulders or feet.

Modification
Place one hand on your stomach and the other under your lower back to feel the correct muscles working.

[http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/low-back-pain-exercises.aspx]

 

Exercises that may help reduce or prevent low back pain include:

  • Aerobic exercise, to condition your heart and other muscles, maintain health, and speed recovery.
  • Strengthening exercises, focusing on your back, stomach, and leg muscles.
  • Stretching exercises, to keep your muscles and other supporting tissues flexible and less prone to injury.

Some exercises can aggravate back pain. If you have low back pain, avoid:

  • Straight leg sit-ups.
  • Bent leg sit-ups or partial sit-ups (curl-ups) when you have acute back pain.
  • Lifting both legs while lying on your back (leg lifts).
  • Lifting heavy weights above the waist (standing military press or bicepscurls).
  • Toe touches while standing.
Why is it important to do exercises for low back pain?

Exercise and staying active may relieve low back pain and can help speed your recovery. Stretching and strengthening your stomach, back, and leg muscles helps make them less susceptible to injury that can cause back pain. Strong stomach, back, and leg muscles also better support your spine, reducing pressure on yourspinal discs. This may help prevent disc injury.

Aerobic exercises-such as walking, swimming, or walking in waist-deep water-also help you maintain a healthy back. Aerobic exercise makes your heart and other muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Muscles that frequently receive oxygen-richblood stay healthier.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Exercises for lower back pain

    • Thank you 🙂 Yes, i did some practice and i observed that 90 % of the patients had this lower back pain. Many people also are not careful enough with lifting things ,heavy ones, and then they injur themselves. We should give more importance to our posture and to the things we do because they affect so much our spine and back and we don´t even realise it. I keep telling my father too ,to be careful since he already had several times this lower back pain but he doesn´t listen. Thanks again for the comment !
      Have a nice day!

    • Hey. First question : did you see a physiotherapist ? and did he confirm your diagnosis: subluxation? u had an X-ray and examination?
      If you have subluxation it means your vertebrae(s) (bones of your spine) moves out of its correct position, therefore, creating pressure, which could irritate spinal nerves.
      So, you have to do those exercises that do not give you pain. And when you feel pain you have to immediately stop . Every pacient need his/ her own individualized exercise programm because what works for me might not work for you.
      I watched the video,it is ok,but i think that for your condition might not be the proper exercise,( especially if your vertebrae moved from it´s correct position maybe to outside because in the video the doctor says you have to keep you lower back on the floor so when you do th crunches it will put too much presure on your spine and because the vertebrae moved you feel the pain because it irritates your nerves). I think you should try some yoga exercises for lower back pain because they don´t involve a lot of movement and it also relaxes your back. i will send you a link with some yoga stuff and try to see which of those exercises help you more and try to do those ones. If you feel pain stop and try nother exercises.
      Also try swimming, walking in waist-deep water .

      Some exercises can aggravate back pain. If you have low back pain, avoid:

      -Straight leg sit-ups.
      -Bent leg sit-ups or partial sit-ups (curl-ups) when you have acute back pain.
      -Lifting both legs while lying on your back (leg lifts).
      -Lifting heavy weights above the waist (standing military press or bicepscurls).
      -Toe touches while standing.
      and in your condition crunches and maybe try only streches (yoga )

      https://beyutza.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/yoga-for-lower-back-pain/

      take a look and let me know how do you feel 🙂

  1. Hi there. Great exercises! I used to suffer from chronic back pain a few months back following which I consulted Physiotherapists from Toronto. The therapy was helpful to a great extent in relieving my pain. My therapists suggested that I browse internet and do some exercises for back pain. Thanks for posting this article. It was really helpful.

    • Hello, thanks for your comment ! i am happy it is helpful! get better and keep doing exercises and try some yoga streches too …they might help!

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