Notice:Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of your abdomen and spine can help prevent back problems. If your back and abdominal muscles are strong, you can maintain good posture and keep your spine in its correct position.
If your muscles are tight, take a warm shower or bath before doing the exercises. Exercise on a rug or mat. Wear loose clothing. Do not wear shoes. Stop doing any exercise that causes pain until you have talked with your provider.
These exercises are intended only as suggestions. Ask your provider or physical therapist to help you develop an exercise program. Check with your provider before starting the exercises. Ask your provider how many times a week you need to do the exercises.
Caution: If you have a herniated disk or other disk problem, check with your healthcare provider before doing these exercises.
This movement is helpful to stretch tight abdominal muscles and the lower back. Start by lying on your stomach with your legs extended and with palms planted on either side of your head with your forearms and elbows flat on the ground. Slowly, push your body upwards, so your weight is resting on your forearms. Be sure to keep your hips on the ground. Once you reach a comfortable position that gently stretches your abdominal muscles and lower back, hold for 10 seconds. Slowly return to starting position and repeat five times. If you have more flexibility in your lower back, try straightening your arms
A common pose in yoga, the restful child’s pose can help you relax your body. Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with your knees just wider than hip distance apart. Turn your toes in to touch and push your hips backwards bending your knees. Once you reach a comfortable seated position, extend your arms forward fully and allow your head to fall forward into a relaxation position. Hold this pose for 20 seconds and slowly return to starting position. Repeat three times. For modification if you have shoulder pain, place your arms on either side of your body, extending towards your feet
#Lying Knee Twist:
Use this movement to stretch the paraspinal muscles and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out. Bend the right knee up and cross it over the left side of your body. Hold in a position that allows you to feel a gentle stretch through the back and buttocks muscles for 20 seconds. Tighten your core muscles and rotate back to center. Repeat three times on each side
Start this more by kneeling on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Exhale and gently arch your spine. Inhale, tighten your core muscles and round your back, like a cat. Move slowly between movements and hold in each position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times
#Piriformis Seated Stretch:
This stretch is designed to help lengthen the piriformis muscle over time. This muscle is often the source of sciatica, or radiating leg pain. Sitting with a straight back, cross your left leg over your right leg placing your foot next to your thigh and tuck your right leg in towards your buttocks. Place your right arm on your leg as pictured and slowly ease into a stretch. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest lifted. Hold for 20 seconds and alternative sides, three times
- #Standing hamstring stretch: Place the heel of one leg on a stool about 15 inches high. Keep your leg straight. Lean forward, bending at the hips until you feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh. Make sure you do not roll your shoulders and bend at the waist when doing this. You want to stretch your leg, not your lower back. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat with each leg 3 times.
2-#Cat and Camel: Get down on your hands and knees. Let your stomach sag, allowing your back to curve downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then arch your back and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10.
3-#Quadruped arm and leg raise: Get down on your hands and knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine. While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg slowly and alternate sides. Do this 10 times on each side.
Knee to Chest#:
Use this stretch to align pelvis and stretch lower back and rear end muscles. Lie flat on your back with toes pointed to the sky. Slowly bend your right knee and pull your leg up to you chest. Wrap your arms around your thigh, knee or shin, and gently pull the knee towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly extend the leg to starting position. Repeat three times each leg.1
Partial curl: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles. Tuck your chin to your chest. With your hands stretched out in front of you, curl your upper body forward until your shoulders clear the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Don't hold your breath. It helps to breathe out as you lift your shoulders up. Relax back to the floor. Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of 10. To challenge yourself, clasp your hands behind your head and keep your elbows out to the side
4-Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax. Do 3 sets of 10.
Gluteal stretch: Lie on your back with both knees bent. Rest the ankle of one leg over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the thigh of the bottom leg and pull toward your chest. You will feel a stretch along the buttocks and possibly along the outside of your hip. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times with each leg.
Sports and other activities
In addition to conditioning your back, you need to condition your whole body. Physical activities such as walking or swimming can help strengthen your back. It is always best to check with your provider before you start any rigorous exercise program. Remember to begin slowly. Some sports can be harmful to your back.
Good activities for people with back problems include:
- cross-country skiing
Sports that may be dangerous to your back because of rough contact, twisting, sudden impact, or direct stress on your back include:
- weight lifting
- ice hockey
Published by Lower Back Pain