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Physiotherapy exercises for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is extremely common. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and for all manner of reasons. If you are suffering with lower back pain then hopefully just working on these excises will provide you with some relief. Lower back pain can broadly be split into an acute, or chronic pain. Acute pain is usually something sharper in nature that has developed recently. Whereas chronic pain usually presents as a more dull and achey pain that’s been hanging around for a good while.


What is causing my back pain?

There can be many causes of your pain, and in some complex cases, more than one cause. Common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Nerve compression

  • Disc injury - tear, bulge or prolapse

  • Soft tissue injury - ligament, muscle or tendon

  • Bone injury - stress fracture

  • Joint injury - Arthritis, wear and tear

  • Congenital issue - Spondylolisthesis, Spondylitis, scoliosis

  • Postural Pain - prolonged static or uncomfortable positions

  • Instability and muscle weakness

  • Overuse of certain structures - e.g repetitive sports or postures

What can I do about my back pain?

Trying to identify where your pain is coming from and to understand what makes it more or less intense can be key to finding your answers. This is where you may need the help of a trained professional - If you have acute or chorionic back pain book in to see your physiotherapist.

Exercises for back pain

Here is an example of the sorts of movements that may provide some relief to someone suffering with acute back pain. Of course, everyone is different and all injuries should be assessed, but here are some relatively safe movements to try

Pelvic tilting in Crooked Lying


Laying on your back with your knees bent, gently rolling your pelvis backwards and forwards to provide some movement to your lumbar vertebrae and the surrounding soft tissues. Bonus points here if you are able to add in the abdominal contraction when rolling your pelvis backwards

Lumbar Rotations in Crooked Lying


Laying on your back with your knees bent. Keep your shoulders on the ground at all times. Roll your knees from side to side allowing your lower body to twist as much as comfortable. This will mobilise and provide blood flow to stiff areas in the lower back and stretch the side of the hips. Again, bonus points for keeping your core engaged as you rotate from side to side

Quadruped Core Activation and Bird Dog


Start this one on all 4s, just practicing the activation of your lower abdominal muscles. Practice pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Once you’re happy with the activation try to maintain it , whilst lifting your opposite arm and leg. Then lower and repeat on the other side. The idea is to not allow your lower back to bend or arch as you lift and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretching in Kneeling


With a pillow under your knee, kneel down with one leg out in front. The aim of this is to stretch the front of the knee that is down. So the key with this is to try to tuck your pelvis under as much as you can. Imagine you have a tail, and you’re trying to tuck your tail between your legs. Do this by clenching your buttocks. Lean forward and hold the stretch for 60 seconds, then repeat.

Glute stretching against the wall


Start sitting opposite a wall with your feet against it, knees bent. Place one foot onto the other knee and use their wall to provide pressure to push the bent leg back to stretch the glute on the opposite side.

Hamstring Stretching in supine lying with a band


Laying on your back, use a band, or a towel under your foot to lift up one leg, keeping it straight. Pull it back to stretch the hamstring. Don’t pull too hard with this or it can be sore.

Glute Bridge


You need to be careful with this one, as if done incorrectly my trigger your back pain. Start on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. The first part of the movement is the pelvic tilt (above). Roll your hips back, engaging your core as much as you can. The pushing down through your legs to lift your hips up. Keep the movement smooth but rolling your spine up, peeling it off the floor vertebrae by vertebrae. Then slowly lower back and repeat

If you are experiencing back pain, a correct diagnosis and a personalised plan will be key to recovery. Book in to see a physiotherapist today.

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