What is low back pain exercises?

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What kinds of exercises can reduce low back pain?

Most people who have back pain naturally feel better by doing certain motions. Some feel better when they sit (their back and hips are flexed). Others feel better when they stand (back and hips are extended). Exercise that moves you toward your more comfortable position usually works better to treat your back pain. For example, if you are more comfortable sitting down, exercises that bend you forward—such as partial sit-ups (curl-ups) and knee-to-chest exercises—may help you.

The exercise programs that work best for chronic low back pain are designed specifically for you and are supervised. For example, a physical therapist might teach you an exercise program that you can use at home. Then you would see the therapist every so often to check on your progress and advance your program.

  • Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you aren't sure how to do these exercises or if you feel any pain when you do them.
  • Try to exercise a little bit every day.
    • Get some type of aerobic exercise, such as walking, every day. Even a couple of minutes will be helpful, and you can slowly increase your time.
    • Choose a couple of stretching and strengthening exercises that you enjoy doing, or vary them from day to day.

Here are some exercises to try if your back pain is eased by standing or lying down:

  • Alternate arm and leg (bird dog)
  • Backward bend
  • Bridging
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Press-up
  • Relax and rest

Here are some exercises to try if your back pain is eased by sitting down:

  • Double knee-to-chest
  • Piriformis stretch
  • Single knee-to-chest

Here are some exercises to try when no position eases your pain:

  • Cat-camel
  • Clamshell
  • Curl-ups
  • Front plank
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Pelvic rock, sitting
  • Pelvic rock, standing
  • Pelvic tilt
  • Side plank, beginner
  • Side plank, intermediate
  • Walking
  • Wall sit

How to do the prone buttocks squeeze exercise

This exercise strengthens the buttocks muscles, which support the back and help you lift with your legs.

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides.
  2. Slowly tighten your buttocks muscles and hold the position (not your breath) for about 6 seconds. Relax slowly.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

You may need to place a small pillow under your stomach for comfort.

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