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La Clinica | Personal Injury | Injury Care Center | Chicago

7 Best Home Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common problems that people face worldwide. On average, more than half of the adult population has experienced lower back pain at least once in their life. It affects normal activity, causing inconveniences at work and leisure. Different reasons may provoke discomfort in the lower back area, including sedentary behavior, muscles or ligament strains, traumas of different natures, repetitive actions, etc. Despite a large number of people suffering from lower back discomfort, only a few of them have serious medical conditions.

In most cases, a series of simple exercises can reduce pain and bring relief. When practicing them at home, remember that they should not intensify the pain level. If you feel any discomfort while doing exercise, it’s highly recommended to consult your health care specialist. Here is a list of the most effective home exercises for lower back pain.  

Related: Muscle Strain and the Back: Getting the Relief You Need

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

To start this exercise, lie down on your back with both legs slightly bent and your feet flat on the mat. Ensure your lower back is pressed against the floor. Slowly lift your right leg and slightly pull your knee towards your chest with your hands. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg. Make 3-5 repetitions of this exercise on each side. Another variant is to start with both legs lying flat on the floor. Choose the one that is more comfortable for you. Knee-to-chest stretch relieves tension in the lower back area and improves posture. 

a woman doing a Knee-to-Chest Stretch

 

Cat Camel Back Extension

Start from the quadruped position – hands on the floor under the shoulders, knees under the hips, and spine in a neutral position. Breath normally. Arch your back up, contract your abdominal muscles, and drop down your head. Hold for a few seconds. Then, bend down your back, straighten your shoulders, and slightly look up. Maintain in this position for a few seconds, then repeat the exercise 5-10 times. Cat camel back extension is a spinal mobilization exercise that positively affects the lower and middle back. Practicing it regularly reduces the feeling of discomfort and fatigue in the back.

 

Lower Back Rotational Strech

As you lie on your back, bend your knees, so your feet are flat on the floor. Make sure your shoulders and your lower back are pressed against the floor. Spread your arms to the sides. Carefully drop your knees to one side while turning your head to the opposite side. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then switch to the other side. Repeat up to 5 times on each side. Lower back rotations help to prevent spinal injuries or strains and retain mobility.

 

Bridging Exercise 

One of the best exercises to straighten your lower back muscles and pelvis is supine bridging. Lie on your back with your arms on the side and your legs bent. Your feet should be firmly pressed to the floor. Slowly lift your hips and pelvis upwards, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for 10-15 seconds and gently return to the starting position. Don’t make harsh movements. Take some rest, then repeat the exercise up to 10 times. Remember not to rise your hips too high as it can lead to a lower back strain. Bridging not only soothes lower back pain but also strengthens your gluteus muscles and hamstrings.

a woman doing a Bridging Exercise

 

Press-Up Back Extensions

The starting position is lying on your stomach with your hands bent at the elbows. Begin to slowly lift your upper body as you push with your hands and your legs are pressed to the floor. Be very careful not to arch your back too much and avoid rapid movements. You mustn’t feel any discomfort during this exercise. If you are comfortable enough, try placing your forearms in the Sphinx position while keeping your neck neutral. Hold for 10-20 seconds and return to the starting position. This exercise increases range of motion, reduces the risks of back injuries, and is a good remedy against lower back pain.

 

Bird Dog 

Begin this exercise with a tabletop position on a mat. Your knees must be right under your hips and at the hips distance, while your hands are under your shoulders. Use your abdominal muscles to keep your spine in a neutral position and breath normally. Slowly lift your right arm and left leg until they are parallel to the floor. Don’t drop your head and try to extend your spine. Hold for a few seconds and put down your leg and arm in the starting position. Switch the sides and then make 5-10 repetitions. Bird dog exercise improves mobility and is an excellent choice for home practice.

 

Partial Crunches

Start by lying on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Position your hands behind your neck or cross them on your chest – choose the variant that feels more comfortable for you. As you tighten your abdominal muscles, start lifting the shoulders. Remember not to pull your head with your hands and not to rise too high off the floor. Your lower back must be pressed against the mat all the time. Maintain in this position for a few seconds, then release. Repeat several times. The partial crunches’ beneficial effect is straightening your back and abdominal muscles. As a result, your posture improves, and discomfort in the lower back lessens.  

 

The importance of being active and maintaining a healthy way of life cannot be overestimated nowadays. People who exercise regularly can benefit from this healthy habit and avoid numeral problems with their back. The general rule, though, is to always listen to your body and never do any exercises through the pain. If you have any doubts regarding your physical condition or if the symptoms don’t disappear after a few weeks, we recommend you consult your professional health care specialist.