If you live a sedentary lifestyle or spend your time standing, you may suffer from back pain. Here you’ll find 11 exercises for lower back pain that you can do from home.
What is Lower Back Pain?
Back pain is a common issue that plagues so many of us. It can inflict anyone and might be because you have a desk job or spend too much time standing up, bending over, or traveling.
You can also get back pain from an illness or injury. But, it doesn’t even have to be from something serious or strenuous; it can be from something as minuscule as having bad posture.
No matter what the reason is, back pain can bring our regular life to a standstill, or affect our quality of life at the least. The most gnawing and persistent type of back pain is lower back pain.
Our lower back is also called the lumbar region because it consists of our lumbar spine (the lowest part of our spine). It consists of the last five vertebrae with their intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
Pain in our lower back is usually due to injury, serious illness, or sudden movements that strain muscles and ligaments. Let’s have a look at ways to ease lower back pain.
How to Get Rid of Lower Back Pain
There are a few home practices that can help you ease your lower back pain, if not get rid of it altogether:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers can give you temporary relief. You can also use cooling sprays and rubs, but avoid massaging or applying pressure on your lower back, since it is a sensitive region.
- Even if you feel like massaging your back pain, try to avoid it. Massages can help but only when done by a physiotherapist or a professional masseuse. Professionals know the proper way of massaging your back for pain relief. If you do it wrongly, the pain can worsen. Opt for applying heat or cold compress instead. Try out both to see which works best for you.
- Practice maintaining good posture at all times. Avoid sudden movements or lifting heavy objects. These healthy practices can help prevent the worsening of lower back pain and prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Movement and staying active are key. When we live a sedentary lifestyle, our body grows weak due to the lack of physical exertion. This is especially true for our backbones and muscles because when we don’t move much, those parts of our body become the most inactive.
- Whether you are already in pain or are prone to lower backache, spend some time walking around for a bit. Do this every day or every other day for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stretching, back strengthening, and relaxing exercises are the best way to ease and avoid lower back pain.
11 Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Most exercises used for easing lower back pain are easy stretches and yoga asanas(postures) which will help to strengthen your back.
1 – Child’s Pose
This yoga pose is both easy and relaxing. Get down on the floor kneeling with your knees bent underneath you. Keep your knees apart, aligning with your natural hip-width, while your palms rest on your thighs. Lower down your upper body between your knees, stretching out your arms ahead of you, palms and head facing down. Relax your shoulders and rest in that posture.
2 – Bridges
This is another yoga position that helps you relax and build core strength. Lie down on your back, knees bent, and keep your feet apart with hands lying on your sides with palms facing down. Then, lift your hips upward, slowly rolling up one vertebra at a time as you inhale.
Once you roll into the bridge pose, stay there for a few seconds, breathing or holding your breath. You can also clasp your hand beneath you if you stay for long, but don’t strain yourself. Unclasp your hands, move them to the side and begin to slowly roll back down to the floor.
The key to yoga is to not rush and move from one position to another. Instead, progress slowly and feel yourself go through the movements.
3 – Lower Back Rotational Stretches
Lie on your back and keep your knees bent. Press your feet and shoulders solidly flat on the floor. Spread out your arms to your sides and roll both your knees down to your right side, stretching your body.
Stay in the position for 5 to 15 seconds and move back to the starting position, and repeat for the left side. You can do this routine 3 to 5 times per session, two sessions per day.
4 – Knee-to-chest Stretches
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet pressed flat on the floor. With both arms draw your right knee to the chest. Tighten your abdomen and press your spine gently down to the floor and hold in position for 5-10 seconds. Go back to your initial position and repeat the process with the left leg. Repeat this session a few times, twice a day.
5 – Draw-in Maneuvers
As with most of these stretches, start on your back, knees bent, feet flat against the floor with your arms lying along your side. Breath in, tighten your abdomen, and hold your breath without rocking your hips. Keep your hips still as you hold your breath and position for 5 seconds, then exhale and relax. Repeat 5 times per session, at least two sessions per day.
6 – Pelvic Tilts
Once again, lie on your back, knees bent, feet apart and pressed down flat, arms by your side, hands pressed down as well. Rock your hip forward, lifting your stomach while you breathe in, hold the position for 5 seconds. Then rock back, pressing down your tummy as you breathe out. Flatten the spine and tighten the buttocks. Continue this process, increasing the number of sessions slowly, going up to anywhere from 30 to 50 as you gain strength and confidence.
7 – Piriformis Stretches
Piriformis stretches should be a crucial part of your back pain relief stretches as they can help grow your waist, hip, and lower body strength.
There are many types of piriformis stretches, most involve lying on your back, with your feet pressed down, slowly drawing a knee into your chest, towards your shoulder. This helps stretch the back muscles, thigh muscles, hamstring, etc.
8 – Cat stretches
Cat stretches and poses are a crucial part of yoga. Get on your mat on all fours with knees bent below, sitting up. Reach forward with your arms and press your forehead to the floor. Lift your body up on your hands and knees, arching your back outwards, raising your head up like a cat as you inhale. Hold your breath and stay in this position for 5-10 seconds. Exhale and drop your head slowly, arching your back inwards and breathing out. Do this at least 3 to 5 times, twice a day.
9 – Lying lateral leg lifts
Lie on your side, bend your elbows and rest your head on your hand. Maintain a straight posture. Keep the lower leg slightly bent and keep your stomach and core tight. Slowly lift the upper leg up as far as you can while inhaling. Hold it there for a bit and bring it down while exhaling. Do this 5-10 times per side.
10 – Supermans
Lie down on your chest with your head down with arms stretched in front. As you breathe in, lift your arms and legs upwards to a distance of at least 5 inches. Breathe in, tighten your tummy and core. Hold the position for 3 seconds, slowly relax and bring your arms and legs back down. Repeat this a few times, and slowly increase the sets with experience.
11 – Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretches
You can do this sitting anywhere stable, pressing your feet down to the floor. Keep your spine straight and tighten your core. Lift your arms up and cross your fingers behind your head. Twisting at the core, keep your back straight in the right posture (no slouching!). Do each side a few times, ten times per side.
You can both avoid and relieve most back pain by moving around and staying active. These exercises can prevent and ease lower back pain, so try adding them to your healthy habits.
Jay always had a passion for fitness. A former skinny guy, he built himself 35 lb of lean muscle over the years using different training strategies, going through failures and eventually succeeding, and now wants to share his knowledge with those who value fitness as a way of life (See all posts by Jay Fielding).