7 Effective Exercises for Back Pain

Exercises for Back PainLow back pain is a common problem. It can occur due to many reasons such as tight or weak back, abs or core muscles, muscle sprains or strains, or a herniated disc. Core strengthening and stretching exercises can ease back pain and reduce the risk of back injuries. According to a 2018 American Journal of Epidemiology review of 16 prior studies, people who exercise regularly are 33 percent less likely to develop lower back pain.

It might be difficult to hit the gym for regular exercise, but there are some effective exercises that can be performed at home. Here are 7 exercises that can reduce back pain:

  • Partial Crunch – Pelvic Tilt: This is one of the best exercises to ease back pain and develop spinal stabilization.
    • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
    • Contract your abdominal muscles and press the small of your back into the floor, while exhaling.
    • Lift your head and shoulders slightly up off the floor as you reach toward your feet with your fingertips.
    • Hold on for 5 to 10 seconds and relax.
    • Return to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
  • Bird Dog: This exercise strengthens the core muscles, stabilizes the spine, improves posture control, strengthens the shoulder muscles, and reduces lower back pain.
    • Get on the floor on your hands and knees, with your hands placed directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
    • Look downwards and contract the stomach muscles to prevent sagging or your back from arching.
    • Squeeze the glutes and lift and extend your left leg and right arm up to a point where they are in line with your back. Your extended leg must be parallel to the floor and your biceps should be level with your ear.
    • Remain in the position for a few seconds before lowering your arm and leg back to their original position.
    • Repeat with the other arm and leg.
  • Dead Bug: This is an excellent exercise to strengthen the abs and core without putting strain on your lower back.
    • Lie flat on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and knees bent 90 degrees over hips, calves parallel to floor.
    • Contract your core to lightly press your lower back into the floor and get into the starting position.
    • Lower one leg down until your heel almost touches the floor, while also lowering your opposite arm toward the floor behind the top of your head.
    • Hold, and then squeeze your core to raise your arm and opposite leg back to start. Repeat with the other arm and leg.
  • Cat-Cow Stretch for Back Pain: This is a balanced exercise for the back because it is both a stretch (cat) and an extension (cow) exercise.
    • Start the on your hands and knees on exercise mat, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
    • Your spine should be parallel to the ground in this position.
    • Then round your back, stretching your mid-back between your shoulder blades-similar to how a cat stretches by rounding its back.
    • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax and let your stomach fall downward as you gently arch your low back and hold here for 5 seconds.
    • Repeat these movements for 30 seconds or longer.
  • Low Side Plank: Start this exercise
    • Lie down on the floor on one side, rest on your forearm, and make sure your right elbow is directly under your shoulder.
    • Bend your knees and stack them on top of each other and in line with your shoulders.
    • Squeeze your core to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your head to your knees.
    • Keep your muscles contracted and as tight as possible, and hold this position for five seconds, then lower your hips to reset.
    • Repeat these short movements, making sure not to let your hips rotate or sag. Then, switch to the opposite side.
  • Seated 90/90 Hip Switches:
    • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and heels on the floor in front of you, almost twice shoulder-width apart.
    • Hold your hands in front of your chest and rotate your body to the right, allowing the outside of your right thigh and the inside of your left thigh to fall toward the floor.
    • Your chest should point directly over the right knee.
    • Pause, and then reverse the movement in the opposite direction so that you’re performing the rep over your left knee.
  • Bridges (Bridging): This exercise helps strengthen various supporting areassuch as hamstrings, buttocks, abdomen, and hips to reduce back pain.
    • Lie with your back to the floor, knees bent with only your heels touching the floor.
    • Tighten your abdomen and buttock muscles.
    • Lift your hips up to make a single, straight line from your knees to shoulders.
    • Hold this position for about ten seconds and then slowly bring your hips back to the floor and give yourself about 10 seconds of rest.Repeat 8 to 12 times.

It’s very important to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Based on your symptoms and causes of your back pain, your doctor will help you plan the exercise program that’s best for you.

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