Back Pain Exercises


It is a fact: back pain exercises, when properly prescribed and executed can relieve your back pain.   Weak and shortened muscles are more times than not, at the root of back pain, particularly lower back pain.  Strengthening the muscles that support the spine with exercises can prevent, reduce and even eliminate back pain.  Additionally, stretching shortened muscles, which have thrown the spine out of alignment, lengthens shortened muscles and relieves back pain.

 Remember:  Consult with your physician before beginning any back pain exercises.  Not all back pain is caused by weak and/or shortened muscles and your pain could be exasperated by exercising improperly.

 Always Warm-up before Exercising!

 Five minutes of walking or on an exercise bike is usually enough.  More warm-ups are better than less, but don’t overdo it!  Not warming up before performing back pain exercises leaves the back prone to injury.  Always warm-up before starting your back pain exercises.

 back pain exercises

Standing Hamstring Stretch:  First:  Stand and straighten your left leg on a bench, a step or a rail.  Maintain that position with you right leg slightly bent.  Now gently bend forward from the hips until you feel the stretch in the back of the thigh, top of calf, and behind the knee.  Without bouncing, hold for about eight seconds.  Repeat several times, slowing leaning in further.  Repeat stretch on other leg.

Cat and Camel:  Begin on all fours, hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Inhale as you drop tummy towards the floor and look up over your head.
Exhale as you bring your tummy back up, rounding your back as you tuck your chin in and tuck your tailbone in. Move slowly back and forth between these two positions pausing on each pose. Repeat about 5 times.

Pelvic Tilt:  Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Tighten buttocks and abdomen, flattening small of back against the floor. Hold for a count of five. Slowly relax. Repeat five – fifteen times.

Partial Curl:   Lay flat on your back to begin this exercise.  Bend your knees up so that your feet are hip width apart. . Draw your shoulder blades back and downwards so that your shoulders are square to the ceiling.  Place your hands on your head and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Note: if done properly, your ribs should be connected into your trunk and abdominals and you should feel little to no strain on your neck, arms should not be lifting, rather just supporting the neck.  Do 10 to 30 repetitions.


Piriformis Stretch:  Lay on your back and place your right ankle over your left leg, just above the knee and lean forward.  Hold for thirty seconds.  Repeat on other side.

Extension Exercise:  Lay flat on stomach, forehead to ground, with arms bent and palms down on the ground under the shoulders. Push downward with arms as you raise your upper torso and arch your back. Hold for 3 full breaths before slowly bringing the upper torso back down to the ground. Repeat several times.

 back pain exercises

Pectoralis Stretch:  You can do this stretch standing in a doorway or in a corner. Raise both arms to just below shoulder height, with elbows bent to 90 degrees and palms facing forward. If you use a doorway, place your hands on the doorjambs and lean your trunk forward slightly. In a corner, place a hand on each wall and lean into the corner. If you do not have a doorway or corner, bring both hands behind your head and move your elbows back until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Thoracic Extension:  Sit on the edge of a seat and place your hands behind your head.  Draw your shoulder blades down into your spine and expand your chest outwards. Breathe in smoothly through your nose as you do so. If you have done this correctly you will feel your shoulders have rotated outwards and your shoulder blades are pinched together. From this position, slowly lift your head to look upwards and arch your upper back. Your lumbar spine will also arch – but focus on the thoracic portion. Hold the extended position for a count of three and then relax.

Arm Slides on Wall:  Back up against a wall. Hold the arms along the wall with palms facing outward. Raise the arms up and down against the wall to stretch the muscles of the upper back and arms.  Repeat about 15 times

Scapular Squeezes: Sit on an armless chair or stool. Keeping your chin tucked in and your chest high, pull your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds, and then relax. Repeat.

Mid-Trap Exercise:  Lie on the ground on your stomach and place a pillow under the chest.  Put your arms away from the body making an angle of 90 degrees with the trunk. Raise your arms upwards slowly, at the same time squeezing the shoulder blades. Lower the arms and repeat 10-15 times

Performed properly and regularly, back pain exercises will go a long way towards relieving your back pain!

Categories : Back Pain Exercises


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