Back pain can be a real pain in the… well, you know where.
But it doesn’t have to be a constant burden in your life. In fact, there are plenty of ways to reduce or even eliminate back pain without resorting to medication or surgery. While lower back pain is a major public health challenge, this is something you can prevent right from your home.
The secret? Exercise.
That’s right, specific exercises can do wonders for your back muscles, posture, and flexibility.
Here are six home exercises that can help relieve your back pain once and for all.
1 – Bird Dog
The most common exercise for people with back pain is the Bird Dog. It’s a simple but effective exercise that targets your core and back muscles. While this isn’t a high-impact exercise, it can still be challenging. So take it slow and focus on your posture while doing the Bird Dog.
Start on all fours with your back straight and your hands aligned directly under your shoulders. Extend your left leg behind you and your right arm straight in front of you. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides. Repeat for ten reps on each side.
This exercise helps your core muscles remain tight and stable while performing the daily activities of life. Coupled with squats, bird dog exercises help you flex your spine and do more aerobic movements.
2 – Bridge
The bridge works your gluteus muscles and lower back.
According to a study, the bridge exercise could be “a method of improving postural control for patients with back pain,” which means it could help alleviate your back pain, too. This yoga-inspired exercise focuses on stretching.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower down. Repeat for ten reps.
The bridge also helps to strengthen your lower back muscles.
3 – Hamstring Stretch
The Hamstring Stretch is excellent for loosening up the tight muscles in your lower back. If you have been sitting for a long time, whether at work or home, this exercise can help alleviate the pain in your lower back and improve pelvic mobility.
Standing nice and tall, bring one leg onto a higher surface such as a step, make sure hips are square and facing forward, slightly bend forward to a comfortable position and feel a slight pull in the hamstrings.
Release and repeat on the other side.
This stretch helps to lengthen the hamstring muscles and provides relief to your lower back.
4 – Cat and Camel
This exercise improves spinal flexibility., which is perfect for those with a sedentary lifestyle. For instance, sitting at a desk for long hours may make your spine stiff and inflexible. This could lead to back pain and discomfort.
Get onto your hands and knees with your back straight and your hands aligned directly under your shoulders. Arch your back up like a cat, then lower your back down towards the ground like a camel.
Repeat ten times.
It helps to massage and release any stiffness in your back muscles. In fact, one study suggests that doing cat and camel, along with other isometric back and abdominal exercises, helps alleviate the pain.
5 – Knee to Chest Stretch
This exercise is perfect for those with lower back pain due to tight hip muscles, especially the hip flexors between your knees and chest.
Lying on your back, bring one knee to your chest and hold it there for 30 seconds. Then, place that foot back on the ground and repeat the process with the opposite knee.
This stretch helps to relax your lower back muscles and increase flexibility. To variate this exercise, you can:
- Bring both knees to your chest at the same time
- Use a resistance band or towel to pull your knee closer to your chest
- Rotate your hips while holding the stretch for added hip mobility.
Aim to hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds, depending on your comfort and flexibility level.
6 – Pelvic Tilt
This last simple exercise is excellent for strengthening your core and improving the flexibility of your lower back.
There are two types of pelvic tilt: anterior and posterior.
- For an anterior pelvic tilt, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Gently push your lower back into the floor while engaging your core muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.
- For a posterior pelvic tilt, perform the same starting position, but this time, lift your hips off the ground slightly by squeezing your glutes. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.
Repeat 10-12 times for each variation. Make sure to focus on breathing and proper form throughout the exercise.
This stretch works to strengthen your lower abdominal muscles and helps to improve your posture.
Need Professional Help? Try Aspire Physiotherapy
These exercises are simple to perform at home and can help relieve your back pain in no time.
However, it’s always a good idea to talk to professionals like Aspire Physiotherapy before starting any exercise routine, especially if you have a health condition. With regular practice, you can not only ease your back pain but also improve your strength, flexibility, and posture.
Remember, it’s never too late to start caring for your back. It’s the only one you have.