Low back pain is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in general and the most frequently diagnosed orthopedic condition. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of false information out in the universe that is creating a sense of fear and causing people to do the exact opposite of what they should be doing—reducing activity and “resting.”
Instead of resting, lower back pain sufferers should be moving! Research shows us that exercise and time are the top things that improve lower back pain, even in extreme cases of sciatic and neural symptoms.
Research further tells us that the terms used to create fear, including “disk slippage” and “jelly donut,” are not at all accurate to what is happening when someone has back pain. Disks move around! A large percentage of disk protrusion will retrude on their own, with no medical intervention or surgery needed.
If you have lower back pain, you aren’t alone, and you don’t have to suffer. Stop resting out of fear and start living by incorporating the right movements into your day.
Exercises for Relieving Lower Back Pain
You can do these five lower back exercises at home to loosen up and feel instant relief. Be gentle and move with care, so you don’t further injure yourself. Remember, these moves are for informational purposes only. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions before you start exercising.
Pelvic tilt to bridge
Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat and hips level to the ground. Put your hands on your hips. Rotate your hips so that your back flattens against the ground, then lift your hips and your butt into the air, holding this position for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your hips to return to the ground.
Cat cows are one of the best exercises for lower back pain relief. Sit on your hands and knees with your back flat. Place your legs hip-width apart and your arms directly under your shoulders. Take a deep breath in as you slowly arch your back as you look up to the ceiling in cow pose. You should feel a gentle stretch here. Exhale, then round your back as you pull your belly into your spine for cat pose. Repeat.
This is a great exercise to perform after cat cows. Start in the same position with knees and palms flat on the floor. Start by extending your left leg backwards, keeping a straight line, and at the same time extent your right arm forwards. Remember to keep your back straight and then switch to the other side and repeat.
Strengthen your back muscles with squats. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and push your hips back as if you are about to sit in a chair. Keep your spine straight as you lower as far as you can. If this is too challenging, practice getting up from a chair without using your hands, then lowering yourself into the chair the same way. This will start to strengthen your hip, leg, and back muscles until you are ready to transition into a full squat.
This unique exercise encourages lumbar flexion. People are often afraid of bending their backs, but it can be beneficial. For this exercise, hold one dumbbell in both of your hands. Stand tall, then slowly curl your back, starting with your chin, then shoulders, upper back, and lower back until you bring the weight all the way to the ground. Roll back up.
Lay flat on the ground with your hips flexed to 90 degrees and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Keeping your back flat on the ground, slowly kick out one knee. Straighten and extend your hip, then return to the starting position. Remember to keep your core muscles tight. Repeat five times for each leg.
Embrace Exercise for Lower Back Pain
You don’t need to hit “pause” on your life just because you have low back pain. Instead of fearing movement, embrace the power of exercises for lower back pain. You can continue living your life doing the things you love as long as you are mindful of the best ways to move when you have back pain.