Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Melanie Lim

Physiotherapist

Victoria, Australia

Clinical Pilates, Multiple Sports, Dancing, Pre and Postnatal

 

Lower back pain is a common experience for most people due to stress or improper posture. However, back pain can be treated with exercises recommended by a Clinical Pilates instructor. If you don't have time to go to a clinic, then you can do the exercises listed below in the comfort of your home.

 

 

Stretching

If you are experiencing back pain, you should be doing stretches that focus on the legs, hips, abdominal muscles, and the lower back.

 

Do at least 8 counts per side:

 

Hip Rolls
Standing on one leg and one hand over the head stretch

 

Lower Back Exercises: Sit-ups

The classic sit-up is a good way to strengthen your lower back and your abdomen. The first thing you should do is:

 

  • Lie on a mat on the floor.
  • Then, bend your knees to resemble an inverted 'v'.
  • From a lying position, place your hands on the back of your head and push your body up towards your knees.

 

To avoid hurting your back, do this slowly while not fully lying down on the floor every time you bring your back down.

 

Lower Back Exercises: Abdominal Bridges

  • A bridge is done by lying down on a mat and only lifting your hips up while your legs are still in an inverted 'v' position.
  • Keep your shoulders on the floor as well as your hands.
  • You can either raise and then lower your hips 10 times, or you can raise your hips and hold to a count of 10 before lowering.
  • Do this for three repetitions.

 

Lower Back Exercises: Lower Backroll

  • A backroll is done by lying on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • While keeping your shoulders flat on the floor, slowly move your knees to one side, almost touching the floor. If you notice that your shoulders are starting to rise when you move your knees towards the floor, don't keep pushing down.
  • Keep the position for 10 counts and then slowly roll over to the other side.

 

Lower Back Exercises: Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Although you're not moving your lower back in this exercise, the movement of your shoulders will help keep the correct posture.

 

 

  • You can do this exercise by sitting on the floor or on a chair and simply throw your shoulders back while trying to squeeze your upper back.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds just like the other exercises.

 

When You Shouldn't Exercise

Although exercising is good for your back and for all the other muscles involved, there are times when you shouldn't exercise. You shouldn't exercise when:

 

  • You haven't had enough sleep. Whether you're going to do cardio or strengthening exercises, it's not advisable to do so when you lack sleep. Exercising when you're sleepy will tire your muscles out even more.
  • You have back problems. When you have back problems like osteoporosis, you should consult your doctor about the exercise plan. Don't worry, you can still exercise. It's a matter of knowing the right movements that will not strain your back.

 

Don't Go Overboard

In the end, you are exercising because you want to remove or ease your back pain - not reinforce it or make other body parts hurt. That is why you shouldn't pressure yourself to do a lot of exercises for your back. Doing what you know is enough but with the correct position will go a long way.

 

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