Exercises to Help with Low Back Pain

Unspecified low back pain is a very common diagnosis we treat in the clinic all the time. If this sounds like you, you are not alone–the majority of adults experience this type of pain at some point in their lifetime. While “aging” often gets the credit for generalized low back pain, there are several tissues that may be contributing to your pain, depending on activity, age, movement patterns, and behavior. Specific areas can include the vertebrae (bone), discs (tissue in between the bone), ligaments (connecting bone to bone), tendons (connecting muscle to bone), muscle, or nerves. Physical therapists are experts in these areas who can help identify what tissues are involved, what your preference of movement patterns is, and how to treat and reduce your symptoms.

Low back pain can be simple or complex, with many possible causes; you should always consult with your PT or doctor before attempting self-care. That said, here are three simple and safe exercises that may help reduce generalized low back pain.

  1. Lumbar rotation in hooklying (windshield wipers): Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Slowly bring both knees to one side about 30 degrees, then to the other side. Repeat about 20 times each side.
  2. Posterior pelvic tilt: Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Gently flatten your low back into the table and tilt your pelvis back to do so as if you’re tucking your buttocks in. Try this about 10 times.
  3. Single knee to chest: Start by lying on your back. Straighten one leg and bring your other knee to your chest. Pull the knee a bit closer with your hands until you feel a stretch at your low back. Hold for 5 seconds then release and repeat on the other leg. Try this about 10 times on each leg.

If any of these exercises give you more pain, stop–and get in touch with us to schedule a full evaluation so we can help you figure out how to get better, faster!