Top Five Proven Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief


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You don’t have to stop doing the things you love due to back pain. Specific exercises are often enough for quick and steady lower back pain relief. Exercise therapy, after all, has become the first line of treatment for chronic low back pain.

Once you get familiar with the physical exercises, you can do them on your own as well and manage the pain effectively.

So, without further ado, let’s check out the five lower back pain exercises that actually work.

How to Get Lower Back Pain Relief Without Surgery?

Exercise strengthens your lower back muscles, tendons and ligaments. It puts your spine in an optimal alignment, correcting your posture, releasing muscle tension and reducing pain. The wrong exercise, however, can increase your symptoms.

So, talk to a professional before performing the exercises.

Here are the five proven stretches (shared by top physiotherapists) that usually provide lower back pain relief.

1. Curl-ups

curl-ups exercise

Steps to do:

  • Lie down with your back flat on the floor.
  • Bend your knees at 90 degrees.
  • Keep the feet flat on the floor and about 11-12 inches away from your hips.
  • Fold your arms over your chest.
  • Lift your shoulder blades off the floor. You will feel your belly muscles tightening up.
  • Your head should be aligned with the entire body.
  • Hold the position for two seconds.
  • Relax and repeat 10 times.

When to avoid?

You should avoid this exercise if you have the following conditions:

  • Abdominal surgery
  • Disc problems in the lumbar area
  • Abdominal hernia
  • Spine injury
  • Abdominal muscle fatigue
  • Pain during the exercise

What are the benefits?

  • Relieves back pain
  • Improves sports performance
  • Strengthens core muscles
  • Improves stability, flexibility and balance
  • Corrects posture

2. Standing hamstring stretch

2. standing hamstring stretch exercise

Steps to do:

  • Keep the heel of your left leg on a stool with your knee straight.
  • Lean forward and bend at the hips.
  • You will feel a slight stretch in the back of your thighs.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat with another leg three times.

*Note: You shouldn’t roll your shoulders or bend your waist while doing this lest you might get hurt.

When to avoid?

You should not continue this exercise if your hamstrings feel too sore after one set.

What are the benefits?

  • Reduces tightness in hamstring muscles
  • Reduces the risk of injuries
  • Helps avoid strains and muscle tears
  • Improves mobility and flexibility
  • Restores normal movement

3. Press Up

Steps to do:

  • Lie flat on your stomach.
  • Use your forearms to support your entire body.
  • Now raise your upper back gently putting pressure on the elbows.
  • Relax your stomach muscles during the process.
  • Your pelvis or hips should stay on the floor.

When to avoid?

You may not need to skip this exercise if you have the following conditions:

What are the benefits?

  • Improves upper body strength
  • Strengthens your core muscles
  • Corrects posture
  • Heals multiple muscle groups like back, shoulders, and stomach

4. Cat and camel

cat and camel exercise

Steps to do:

  • Start in an all-fours position.
  • Relax your stomach.
  • Let your back arch curve downward.
  • Hold the position for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat thrice.

When to avoid?

Again, avoid this exercise in case of the following conditions:

What are the benefits?

  • Stretches and strengthens core muscles
  • Mobilizes spine
  • Improves mobility
  • Reduces pain
  • Strengthens neck, arm and shoulder muscles

5. Bird Dog

Steps to do:

  • Start in an all-fours position.
  • Gently pull your belly muscles inward.
  • Now raise the left leg and keep it straight as shown.
  • Do not bring your hips down.
  • Hold the position for six seconds.
  • Repeat with another leg.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times in each leg.

When to avoid?

Here’s when you should avoid this exercise:

  • Injury in the knee, ankle, or wrist
  • Surgery
  • Weak wrists and ankles
  • Balance problems

What are the benefits?

  • Corrects posture
  • Strengthens core, back and hip muscles
  • Improves stability
  • Increases range of motion
  • Restores optimal spinal alignment

Exercises Work Better Under Expert Supervision

Gone are those days when you had to pop pain meds or go under the knife to deal with back pain. Physiotherapy, a dynamic healthcare profession, focuses on pain management and movement issues through the use of non-invasive and hands-on manipulation techniques. Thus, physiotherapists are also known as movement experts. They assess the exact affected areas and use scientific-based evidence to prescribe an exercise regime for you. Thus, they can also customize the plan depending on the results of the exercises.