If you’re suffering from lower back pain, doing exercise might be the last thing you want to do. However, the truth is, our bodies work best when the muscles and joints are working together and moving frequently.

You see, when our muscles and joints don’t move they can become weakened and this can lead to pain and injury. So not only can regular exercise help to strengthen our muscles and prevent injury, but they can also help to loosen your muscles and joints if you’re suffering with pain.

Here, we highlight the best – and easy – lower back exercises to do at home.

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What causes lower back pain?

First things first, it’s important to understand what may be causing your pain. This can vary from person to person but some of the most common reasons are:

  • Bad posture or walking stance
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle strains and spasms
  • Degenerative reasons
  • Sports injury

If you’re suffering from back pain, a chiropractor will be able to get to the root cause of your pain as well as recommend a personal treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs. These equipment-free exercises will also help to strengthen your back and prevent injury in the future…

6 exercises to help with lower back pain

1.Bridges 

Your glutes (gluteus maximus) are the large muscles in the buttocks and are responsible for hip movement. Weak glutes therefore contribute to hip and back pain. To work on these muscles, simply lie down with your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. With your hands by your side, push into the floor with your feet and lift your buttocks and hips off the ground until your body is in a straight line. Keep your shoulders on the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times.

2. Cat stretches 

These simple and gentle stretches lengthen the back and ease any tension in the muscles. Get onto your hands and knees and arch your back, pulling your belly button in towards your spine. After a few seconds, relax and allow your core muscles and stomach to drop towards the floor. Repeat 5 times.

3. Lying leg raises

Your hip abductor muscles help with your balance and mobility. If weakened, not only might you suffer from instability but also lower back pain. To work these muscles, lie down on one side and slightly bend your lower leg while your top leg is straight. Slowly raise your top leg and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times and then do the same on the other side.

4. Superman

One of the most common causes of lower back pain is bad posture. If this is something you struggle with, exercises that focus on your back extensors – which run along your spine – may help. These muscles help with your posture and also support your spine. Lie down on your stomach and extend your arms out in front of you. At the same time, lift your hands and feet off the floor until you feel a gentle contraction in your back. If this hurts, stop. Hold for 2 seconds and then return your feet and hands to the floor. Repeat 10 times. Holding this position is also great for your abdominal muscles.

5. Knee-to-chest stretches

Specific stretches that focus on your back can help to elongate the spine, relieving pain and tension. As well as providing immediate pain relief, they can help to strengthen the muscles. Lie on the floor and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Pull one knee into your chest and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

6. Lower back rotational stretches

Lower back pain can be relieved with this easy rotational stretch. Simply lie on the floor, again with your knees bent and feet on the flat. Keeping your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll both bent knees slowly and gently over to one side. Hold for 10 seconds and then roll to the other side.

It’s important to remember that every back pain and every body is different. If any of these exercises cause further pain, stop at once. If your back pain has been caused by an injury, you should also seek professional medical advice before starting any exercise.

While these exercises have been designed to help alleviate back pain, doing too much can in fact increase your pain and impact the healing process. A professional chiropractor will be able to advise on a personalised treatment plan, however.

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