Lower back pain (LBP) is a growing problem — globally. WHO estimates the world will have 843 million people suffering from LBP by 2050, up from 619 million in 2020.
Lower back pain is the pain experienced between the buttocks and ribs, usually around the lower edges. While the condition is a growing issue, the remedy doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can alleviate LBP with a few simple exercises. You can even prevent LBP from occurring in the first place.
In this article, we will list 7 proven LBP relief exercises that provide everyday relief. You can perform these in the comfort of your home and without sophisticated equipment. Let’s dive deeper.
Reasons and Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Before exploring the remedies, let’s learn about the problem itself and what causes it.
Lower back pain occurs when the lumbar spine is overused, and the muscles supporting the spine suffer sprain or strain. Your spine is at work whenever you move. Amidst all these motions, the lumbar region can suffer damage, leading to lower back pain. It can be acute, lasting a few minutes or hours, or chronic, lasting longer and occurring every few days.
You can stay wary of LBP by noticing a few signs. These signs are:
- A dull to moderate ache in the pelvis or hips area
- Spasms and tightness in the lower back
- Sciatica, which refers to a sharp tingling pain that originates in the lower back and travels down your legs
- Persistent pain while in a seated position, which disappears as soon as you walk
- Back pain that’s noticeably more intense in the morning but gradually fades
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a sign you’re at an early stage of LBP.
7 Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises
To get back pain relief at home, try these lower back pain exercises:
1. The Child’s Pose
This is one of the core yoga exercises with immediate benefits for your back muscles. Known as the Child’s Pose, it stretches multiple back muscles simultaneously, including the maximum gluteus. It’s the largest muscle in the body found in the buttocks. Furthermore, the stretch is also simple to do.
To do a Child’s Pose, you need to start with your hands and knees on the ground with your body parallel to the ground. Then lean backward and touch your hips to the heel and head to the floor while the hands should stretch forward, touching the floor. Stay in that position for a few seconds and inhale and exhale calmly. Get back to the original position and repeat.
Doing this pose regularly will stretch and work out the lower back muscles and improve spinal flexibility.
2. The Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Another exercise that stretches the hips and glutes effectively is the knee-to-stretch.
Start by lying on your back in a relaxed position. Stretch one knee toward the chest while keeping the other knee grounded on the floor. Stretch as far as you can comfortably and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other knee.
This exercise can be performed the moment you wake up. Many people complain of severe back pain in the morning. This stretch is a perfect LBP-alleviating morning ritual for them.
You can add some variations, and instead of bringing your knees to the chest, stretch them outwards in the opposite direction. So, the right knee goes towards the left side of the body while the left knee goes towards the right. This will target even more muscle groups, including upper back ones.
3. The Glute Bridge
You need to take care of your glutes to prevent lower back pain. Researchers have already proven the relationship between glutes and LBP. And there are few better exercises than the glute bridge. It works your glutes, hamstrings, and abs, among others.
To do this, start in a sleeping position on your back. Bend your knees with your feet and arms grounded to the floor. Lift the pelvis off the floor while tightening your abs muscles and squeezing the glutes. Lift to the height where the body from shoulder to knee forms a straight line. Hold the pose for a few seconds and return to starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.
Over time, you will develop strong glute muscles.
4. Kneeling Back Stretch
Another stretching exercise that comes to the rescue for people with LBP is kneeling back stretch. This is simple and fun to perform.
Start in a kneeling position with hands touching the heels. Stretch your hips outwards away from the heels and head towards the heels. Look towards the ceiling and feel the stretch. Hold for a minute and return to starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.
You can also do this on one knee with the other knee extending forward.
Kneeling back stretch exercise also improves your posture and prevents tightness, which is common among those working at a desk all day. Thus, regular workouts will reduce back pain issues over time.
5. Plank and Side Plank
Many LBP sufferers resort to sit-ups to alleviate their suffering. But it’s ineffective and can do more harm than good.
Instead, perform the plank. It’s another simple workout with immense benefits to your back and abs. To do this, lie down on the floor on your stomach. Then bring your forearms under the body and move your body upwards with the forearms and heels as the base. Make sure the body is parallel to the floor. Focus on the buttocks area and lift it a little. Hold the position for a few seconds and return. Do this 3-4 times every day.
Side plank is a plank variation and requires you to support your body on one forearm. It works the muscles necessary for hip stability, like quadratus lumborum.
6. Seated Spinal Twist
Seated spinal twist is the perfect workout for your spine and back. Thus, it not only cures lower back pain but stretches the back in its entirety while increasing mobility.
Get started with this workout in a seated position with left knee bent and extending forwards, left foot on the ground. The right leg should be grounded as well. Now move your left foot on the other side of the right leg while stretching your body towards the left side. Stretch as far as possible and hold for a minute. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other knee.
7. The Bird Dog
The last exercise on the list is a bird dog. It works the glutes and back extensor muscles, the muscles which help you lift objects.
To begin, start on a dog pose with your hands and knees on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your left leg parallel to the floor. Balance yourself and take your right hand forward, parallel to the floor. Hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds and retract. Perform on the other leg and hand and repeat.
Bird dog improves stability and strengthens the muscles involved.
You can perform any of the seven exercises for daily relief from lower back pain. Apart from these, pilates is another good option to reduce back pain problems.
Please note that performing some of the workouts mentioned above may cause discomfort. This could mean you’re not doing them correctly or have underlying issues. Consult a doctor if the discomfort persists.