Low Back Pain Exercises

Low Back Pain Exercises

Regular low back pain exercises can restore the strength in your low back and allow a gradual return to your activities. If you've recently had surgery on your lower back, your surgeon or your physical therapist may recommend that you do exercise for back pain for about 10 minutes one to three times a day, gradually increasing to 30 minutes each time. Some of the exercises that follow may be suggested. This guide may be helpful for you to use in your routine, under the supervision of your surgeon and your therapist. Check with your doctor before beginning any program of exercise for back pain.

Initial Exercise for Back Pain

Your initial exercise for back pain will probably begin with those that cause minimal movement in the low back.

Low Back Pain Exercises: Ankle Pump

  • Lie down on the floor or on your bed, on your back.
  • Point the toes of both feet away from you, hold briefly
  • Now, pull the toes of both feet toward your head. Hold briefly.
  • Repeat 10 times in both directions.

Low Back Pain Exercises: Heel Slide

  • Lie down on the floor or on your bed on your back.
  • Place a small pillow or rolled towel under your low back for support
  • Slowly bend your right leg at the knee, sliding your right heel up toward your buttocks
  • Now straighten your right leg, sliding the heel back down until your leg is straight
  • Repeat this low back pain exercises 10 times
  • Repeat the activity with your left leg

Low Back Pain Exercises: Abdominal Contraction

  • Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed
  • Place your hands together just below your ribs
  • Bend your legs at the knees
  • Without holding your breath, tighten your abdominal muscles
  • Squeeze your ribs downward and inward toward your back
  • Hold this tension for a count of 5
  • Relax for a count of 5
  • Repeat 10 times

Low Back Pain Exercises: Wall Squats

  • Stand up straight placing the back of your shoulders and buttocks up against a flat surface, like a wall
  • Place your feet about 12 inches in front of the wall
  • Tense your abdominal muscles and slowly bend your legs at your knees, sliding your back down the wall until your legs are bent at approximately 45 degrees
  • Hold this position, counting to 5 slowly
  • Slowly slide your back up again to the standing position, unbending your legs from your knees
  • Rest briefly
  • Repeat these low back pain exercises10 times

Low Back Pain Exercises: Heel Raises

  • Stand up straight with your weight evenly distributed on both feet
  • Slowly raise up on your toes
  • Lower your body back down
  • Repeat the low back pain exercise 10 times

Low Back Pain Exercises: Straight Leg Raises    

  • Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed
  • Bend your right leg at the knee and keep your left leg straight
  • Tense your abdominal muscles. This will stabilize the muscles of your back.
  • Slowly lift your left leg straight up, about 6 or 12 inches off the floor or the bed
  • Hold this position for a count of 5, then slowly lower your leg
  • Repeat this low back pain exercises 10 times
  • Repeat the exercise, changing the position of your legs and lifting your right leg

Intermediate Exercise for Back Pain

The intermediate low back pain exercises include the hamstring stretch, single knee to chest, lumbar stabilization low back pain exercises with a Swiss ball, and other exercises that further increase the flexibility and strength of the core muscles.   

Low Back Pain Exercises: Single Knee to Chest Stretch

 

  • Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed.
  • Bend both of your legs at the knees
  • Holding your right thigh behind the knee, bring your right knee up toward your chest
  • Hold this position for a count of 20
  • Relax
  • Repeat with your left leg
  • Repeat these low back pain exercises 5 times for each leg

Low Back Pain Exercises: Hamstring Stretch

  • To begin these low back pain exercises, lie on your back on the floor or on your bed
  • Bend both of your legs at the knees
  • Holding your left thigh behind your knee, slowly straighten your left leg until you can feel a stretching behind your thigh
  • Hold this position for a count of 20
  • Relax
  • Repeat with your right leg
  • Repeat these low back pain exercises 5 times for each leg

Lumbar Stabilization Exercises With Swiss Ball

When performing low back pain exercises with an exercise ball, your abdominal muscles must stay tensed throughout the exercises to provide support for your back. Each of these exercises should be completed for one minute. The farther away from your body the ball is positioned, the more difficult the exercise for back pain will be to complete.

Low Back Pain Exercises with an exercise ball: Lying on the floor

  • Lie on your back. Bend your knees and let your calves rest on the exercise ball
  • Tense your abdominal muscles
  • Raise and lower one arm at a time slowly over your head, alternating sides
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tense, slowly raise your right arm over your head and straighten your left leg
  • Lower your right arm and place your left leg back on the ball
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tense, slowly raise your left arm over your head and straighten your right leg
  • Lower your left arm and place your right leg back on the ball
  • Repeat these low back pain  exercises for one minute, then rest for one minute before moving on to the next part of the low back pain exercises
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tense, slowly roll the ball backward and forward with your calves for one minute

Low Back Pain Exercises with an exercise ball: Sitting on a Ball

  • Sit down on the ball with your hips and your knees fully on the ball.
  • Your knees and hips should be at a 90-degree angle and your feet should be resting firmly on the floor
  • Tense your abdominal muscles
  • Raise your left arm slowly over your head and then lower it
  • Raise your right arm slowly over your head and then lower it
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, continue this activity for one minute, alternating sides

Rest briefly before continuing the next low back pain exercises:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise your right heel and then lower it
  • Slowly raise your left heel and then lower it
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, continue this activity for one minute, alternating sides

Rest briefly before continuing the next low back pain exercises:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise your left heel and your right arm, then lower them
  • Slowly raise your right heel and your left arm, then lower them
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, continue this activity for one minute, then rest

The next low back pain exercises are marching:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise your right heel about 2 inches off the floor and lower it
  • Slowly raise your left heel about 2 inches off the floor and lower it
  • Continue these marching low back pain exercises for one minute, alternating sides

Low Back Pain Exercises with an exercise ball: Standing

  • To begin these low back pain exercises, stand up straight, tensing your abdominal muscles, position the exercise ball between a wall and your lower back
  • Slowly bend your knees to a 45 to 90-degree angle. Hold this position, keeping your abdominal muscles tense, for a count of 5
  • Stand up
  • Slowly bend your knees to a 45 to 90-degree angle and raise your arms above your head, keeping your abdominal muscles tense.
  • Hold this position for a count of 5
  • Stand up
  • Repeat these low back pain exercises from the beginning for one minute

Low Back Pain Exercises with an exercise ball: Lying on the ball

  • To begin these low back pain exercises, lie over the ball on your abdomen
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise first your right arm, then your left up over your head.
  • Continue these low back pain exercises for one minute, alternating arms

Rest briefly before continuing with the next low back pain exercises:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise first your right leg, then your left leg 2 -4 inches off the floor
  • Continue this activity for one minute, alternating legs

Rest briefly before continuing with the next low back pain exercises:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise your right arm up over your head and your left leg 2-4 inches off the floor
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, slowly raise your left arm up over your head and your right leg 2-4 inches off the floor
  • Continue these low back pain exercises for one minute, alternating sides

Rest briefly before moving on to the next low back pain exercises:

  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, bend your right leg at the knee. Slowly lift your right leg up, then lower it
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tensed, bend your left leg at the knee. Slowly lift your left leg up, then lower it.
  • Continue these low back pain exercises for one minute.

NOTE: While doing low back pain exercises on your abdomen, do not arch your lower back!

Advanced Exercise for Back Pain

Low Back Pain Exercises: Hip Flexor Stretch

  • To begin these low back pain exercises, lie down on your bed, near the edge of the bed
  • Bring both of your knees up to your chest, tensing your abdominal muscles
  • Slowly lower the leg that is nearest the edge of the bed down over the side of the bed until you feel a gentle stretch in the top part of your thigh and your hip
  • Hold this tension for a count of 10-20
  • Relax
  • Repeat 5 times
  • Change positions so you can complete the low back pain exercise 5 times for the opposite leg

Low Back Pain Exercises: Piriformis Stretch

  • To begin these low back pain exercises, lie on your back on the floor or on your bed
  • Tense your abdominal muscles and bend both of your legs at the knees
  • Cross your right leg over your left leg
  • Use your hands to pull your left knee toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in your hip area and your buttocks
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tense, hold this tension for a count of 15-20
  • Relax
  • Change the position of your legs and repeat
  • Repeat the low back pain exercise 5 times for each leg

Aerobic Exercises

It's important to keep your spine in a neutral position while doing aerobic low back pain exercises. Stabilize your low back by keeping your abdominal muscles tense. With your doctor's permission, as low back pain exercises, try riding a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill (no incline) for 20 or 30 minutes.
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers