4 Simple Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain


If you suffer from lower back pain, you are not alone. It is the leading contributor in work disability injuries and one of the most common reasons for missed workdays. While you may think that resting your back and remaining somewhat sedentary may be the best thing for you, staying physically active and stretching can actually be the best thing for your pain! 

Partial Crunches

A partial crunch is not only a great core strengthening workout, it can also help relieve lower back pain! Practicing partial crunches can strengthen your lower back muscles and even tighten and tone your stomach muscles. To perform a partial crunch:

  • Lie on a comfortable, flat surface
  • With your feet on the floor, draw your legs up so your knees are bent
  • Place your hands behind your head and raise your shoulders off the floor. You should feel your stomach muscles tighten
  • Hold for one second, breath out, then lower yourself back to the floor
  • Repeat 8 to 12 times, resting in between

Knee to Chest

Knee to chest stretches can help lengthen the spine muscles and relieve any stress or tension built up in your lower back. To perform this stretch:

  • Lie down on a comfortable surface
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent
  • Using both hands, grab your right knee and gently pull your knee to your chest, keeping your left leg resting on the floor
  • You should feel a slight pull or stretch in your lower back
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds then release your knee and follow the same pattern with your left side
  • Repeat three times for each leg

Bridges

A simple bridge works a person's gluteus maximus, which is one of the most important muscles in the body. It’s important to keep this muscle strong to support your lower back. To perform a bridge:

  • Lie on a comfortable, flat surface
  • Bend your knees and firmly plant your feet on the floor, hip width apart
  • Keep your arms by your side and press your feet into the floor, slowly raising your bottom off the ground
  • Press your pelvis out until your shoulders from a straight line with your knees
  • Squeeze your bottom and hold for one breath
  • Lower back onto the floor and repeat 15 times, resting in between

 

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are simple yet extremely effective stretches you can practice to relieve tension in the lower back. They’re also great for improving the flexibility of your back muscles. To perform a pelvic tilt:

  • Lie on a comfortable, flat surface
  • With your arms by your side, bend your knees and keep your feet planted
  • Gently arch your lower back and push your stomach out
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds then release
  • Push your pelvis toward the ceiling, feeling your lower back press into the floor
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds then release
  • Repeat 10 more times

 Depending on the severity of your back pain, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new workout routine. Skip stretches like sit-up’s and leg lifts which can further injure your lower back.

 

References:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

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