10 Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

10 Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

When you’re injured, whether it’s a serious injury or a simple sprain or over-exertion, your primary goal is to heal and get back to your normal life. For many, that typically means taking a bunch of medications and lying around until their bodies take care of it.
 
That’s often not the right way to go about it.
 
You can speed up your recovery, and get better, healthier, results with some basic exercises.
 
Since lower back pain is such a common problem with people from all walks of life and at all ages, we’re going to share 10 of the best physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain that you can start using at home, today.
 
Let’s get started.
 

1: Stretch Your Hamstrings

Before we get to the back, it’s best to deal with your posture. For this, stretching your hamstrings is important. It’s also fairly easy to do despite your back pain.

A woman doing physiotherapy exercise for lower back pain.
 
Sit down with both your legs extended in front of you, bring one foot into the thigh of your other extended leg, and then touch your toes on the extended leg.
 
This will strengthen the muscles connecting your legs to your back and prevent posture problems from straining your back further.

 

2: Planks

This is an easy, low-strain exercise you can do just about anywhere. Again, this doesn’t focus directly on the back. Instead, it focuses on the supporting muscles. In this case, your abs get a workout.
 
To do this, just lay face down on the floor, prop your forearms up as a support, and raise yourself onto your toes. This is like a pushup, but you rest your forearms on the floor, keep your torso straight, and hold the lifted position.

 

3: Crunches

Crunches can help with your back pain because they strengthen your abs. However, it’s important to be careful and not push it.
 
Also, it’s best to do them on an exercise ball with your back and your feet on the floor. This will keep your back from engaging and overstressing itself while still strengthening your abs.

 

4: Extending the Back Muscles

Now, we’ll dig into some exercises that directly target the back. First, you can do an “extension”. This is simply laying flat on your back with your body rigid and then lifting your torso into the air.
 
It’s important not to push it too far at first depending on the extent of your injury, but it stretches the back muscles and helps them heal gradually.

 

5: Side Bends

Another simple back exercise, you can simply stand up straight, and then bend your upper body to one side without rotating your hips or torso.

 

6: Sitting Rotations

Here’s a very light back pain exercise you can do while sitting at your desk: simply sit up straight, and then turn your upper body side to side.
 
This is a low-impact exercise that will stretch the back muscles without overexerting them, and it’s great in work settings and other places where you can’t just start a normal exercise routine.

 

7: Crunches with Elevated Feet

For an easier version of crunches, you can place your feet on an exercise ball while doing normal floor crunches. Since the ball moves and elevates the feet, less stress is put on the spine.

 

8: Bicycle Stretches

This simple exercise consists of lying on your back raising your legs and pretending you’re pedaling a bicycle. Don’t do it fast. The goal is to control your muscles. You shouldn’t feel any back pain, but you’ll strengthen supporting muscles considerably over time.

 

9: Swimming

This physiotherapy exercise for lower back pain isn’t possible for everyone, and it’s not always included in physiotherapy routines, but if you have access to a pool, swimming is great for back pain.

Physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain - a man swimming in a pool

The weightlessness you feel in water alleviates all stress from your back, but you can stretch the muscles extremely well to strengthen and loosen them. Of course, if your back is injured, you shouldn’t swim alone.

 

10: Knee-to-Chest Stretches

This one can be more difficult if you don’t stretch regularly, but it does help the muscles that support your back and stretch the lower back itself.
 
Lay flat on your back, lift one leg, and pull it as close to your chest as you comfortably can.

 

How These Exercises Help with Back Pain

These physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain don’t focus on the back for the most part. That’s for a good reason. If you’re injured or suffering from chronic pain, directly targeting your back on your own might make it worse.
 
Instead, these exercises alleviate pain by strengthening the core muscles that support the lower back. By giving the lower back more support, it’s less likely to move in a manner that overstresses it, and it can more effectively heal.
 
It’s also important to note that you can avoid a lot of lower back pain not only with these exercises but also by practicing preventative care.
 
Most back pain problems stem from work-related activities when you don’t lift things or bend over properly.
 
Focusing on your posture and maintaining good posture throughout such movements can greatly reduce the need for all these exercises.

 

Get Professional Help Alleviating Your Back Pain

Physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain that we listed are great at-home exercises that will work wonders for minor back pain, and they can prevent your back pain from becoming a bigger issue.
 
However, if you’re suffering from serious pain, or your pain doesn’t seem to go away, you need professional help.
 
A professional physiotherapist can not only do more exercises and offer more lifestyle guidance than this list, but they can also monitor your physical therapy and help you perform exercises more efficiently to prevent making the problem worse with improper form or over-exertion.
 
If you are looking for the best physiotherapy clinic in Austin our team got you covered! We provide top-tier physiotherapy services to the Austin, TX area, and we can help alleviate your chronic back pain, recover from injuries, and more.
 
Contact Expert Manual Therapy today and book your first appointment!

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