Lumbar Back Pain Exercises

Lumbar back pain is usually the result of injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine because of repetitive movements, sustained positions, stress and inflammation in joints close to spinal nerve, arthritis or aging. It is always advisable to get a proper assessment of the extent of the injury before deciding whether to continue your daily activities and workout routines.

At the same time, it is best not to rest for too long. Instead, if you can, take a short walk for about 10-20 minutes before resting again. This keeps the blood flow to your back moving and removes waste products of inflammation. It also keeps your back muscles strong and supple, so they don’t get weak due to lack of use.

Here are some easy to do lumbar back pain exercises. If practiced regularly and carefully, they will restore your strength, allowing you to gradually return to your everyday activities. 10 repetitions of each exercise should be done for a total of 10-30 minutes a day during your early recovery, ideally supervised by your physical therapist or orthopedist:

  • Lie on your back with both hips flat on an exercise mat. Keeping your knees locked and your legs straight, move your ankles alternately up and down while breathing regularly.
  • Lie on your back on a mat with both hips flat and with knees bent, hands resting on the mat below your ribs. Tighten your abdominal muscles to squeeze ribs down towards your back. Without holding your breath, hold the contraction for 5 seconds, then relax. This is a very good exercise for lumbar back pain.
  • Stand with your back flat against a wall. Walk both your feet 12 inches in front of your body. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, breathe in and slowly bend both your knees 45 degrees. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing regularly and slowly return to upright position.
  • Lie on your back with both hips flat on a mat and with one leg straight and one knee bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your lower back and press your hips down into the mat. Slowly lift the straight leg up about 6-12 inches and hold for 5 seconds. Lower the leg slowly. Repeat with other leg.
  • Lie on your back with both hips flat on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat. Cross your arms over your chest or put your hands behind your neck. Tighten your stomach muscles and raise your shoulders off the floor. Breathe out as you raise your shoulders. Don’t lead with your elbows or use arms to pull your neck off the floor. Hold for a second, then slowly lower back down. Your feet, hips, and lower back should remain in contact with the mat at all times.

These lumbar back pain exercises will restore your back strength and allow you to live a normal life again.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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