lower back pain exercise

Home Exercises For Lower Back Pain

 Has there ever been a moment when you are just doing the household chores and all of a sudden, there is a pain in your back? Or perhaps when you are sleeping, and you try to turn and all of a sudden, your lower back shoots with pain? We all have been there: the pain that gets the best of us when we are trying to lift something. So what we need right now are some home exercises for lower back pain.

Concentrating on the muscles of the lower back, stomach, and hips will lead to greater core stability that these home exercises will aid in. Best of all, while we are WFH, we can make home exercises for lower back pain our silver lining. All you need to do is dedicate around 20 minutes to half an hour for these exercises for lower back pain at home, and before you head back to work, your back pain would be considerably less. Here is a list of our WFH exercises for lower back pain.

Cat And Cow Exercises

Cat and Cow exercise warms your body and brings greater mobility to your back while giving your back and neck a good stretch. It also softly stimulates your abdominal organ.

Start by going on all fours on a mat. Make sure your hands are at the same level as your shoulder. Your hands should be pointing towards the top of the mat. Now sink your back while you move your head and your buttocks up. Rest for a few seconds before pulling your back up and tilting your head down to the ground. Every time you are transitioning from one pose to the other, make sure you keep breathing.

Tip: Do this exercise the first thing in the morning for a stronger lower back and make sure that while you are transitioning from cat to cow pose, the transition is slow.

Back Extensions Exercises

Back extensions are a great way for you to strengthen lower back muscles. While doing this exercise, you will invariable also strengthen the muscles in your butt, hips and shoulders.

Lie on your stomach on the mat. Place your hands next to your chest and lift your chest while breathing in. Try to move up as much as you can and hold the pose for five seconds. Now release the tension in your arms and move back to starting pose while breathing out.

Tip: You can keep progressing in back extensions. First, try to do half-back stretch. At the next level, stretch your arms completely. At the third level, keep your arms at 90 degrees and without its support, lift your upper body. You can also try keeping your hands forward and picking your upper body up.

This exercise is an excellent way of improving your hip mobility at the same time, strengthening your back. If you are doing this exercise correctly, you will feel the burn in your glutes and with consistency, will be able to improve the range of movement.

Lie on the mat with both your legs bent and your palms to the side of your hips. Now squeeze your glutes and push them up as high as you can while breathing in. While pushing your glutes up, make sure your back isn’t strained. Now hold the position for five seconds, breathe out and bring them back to the starting position. You can use a stretch band loop to make sure your legs are close to each other.

Tip: As you get comfortable with the basic glute bridges, you can try the variation. When you push your glutes up, try to stretch one leg up, bring it down and then move your glutes to the starting position. This variation will further strengthen your glutes, hips, overall core and back of your legs.

Q. What are the things to keep in mind when doing home exercises for lower back pain?

A. While it is great to work out at home, we do believe in consulting a doctor before starting any form of exercise, especially if you have any medical history. But if you are good to go then taking baby steps in your workout regime is the way forward as Radhika Talsania, a personal fitness trainer at Cult. Fit, Mumbai explains. “There are three things to keep in mind when it comes to working out at home for lower back pain. First, sequencing of the exercises matters a lot when it comes to lower back exercises or for any workout for that matter.

Start from least loaded exercises and gradually scale them up. The second important thing is posture and technique. One can’t afford to go wrong here, especially with lower back pain. The third is the frequency of repetitions and the number of times you can perform the exercises through the day.” So if you are just starting, you can keep the intensity low and the number of times you repeat the movement high. Also, working out once a day initially will help relieve you from the lower back pain.

However, if you are doing only one form of exercise like back extensions, then working out after every three to four hours can help heal and strengthen your back.

Q. What are the exercises to be avoided when you have lower back pain?

A. It depends on the intensity of the pain. If you are experiencing a high level of lower back pain and a lot of discomforts, laying flat on your back is the best answer. However, once you speak to your physiotherapist or your doctor and they give you the go-ahead, you might want to do some basic core strengthening exercises still. “During lower back pain, one should avoid any plyometric exercises, HIIT, or any sort of impactful exercises and rather just focus on mobility and essential lower back strengthening exercises,” says Talsania.

Good and Bad Exercises for Low Back Pain

You may feel like resting, but moving is good for your back. Exercises for lower back pain can strengthen back, stomach, and leg muscles. They help support your spine, relieving back pain. Always ask your health care professional before doing any exercise for back pain. Depending on the cause and intensity of your pain, some exercises may not be recommended and can be harmful.

1. Avoid: Toe Touches

Exercise is good for low back pain — but not all exercises are beneficial. Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. But if the pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, patients should stop exercising and contact a doctor. 

Some exercises may aggravate pain. Standing toe touches, for example, put greater stress on the disks and ligaments in your spine. They can also overstretch lower back muscles and hamstrings.

2. Try: Partial Crunches

Some exercises can aggravate back pain and should be avoided when you have acute low back pain. Partial crunches can help strengthen your back and stomach muscles. Lie with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross arms over your chest or put hands behind your neck. Tighten 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. Repeat 8 to 12 times. Proper form prevents excessive stress on your low back. Your feet, tailbone, and lower back should remain in contact with the mat at all times.

3. Avoid: Sit-ups

Although you might think sit-ups can strengthen your core or abdominal muscles, most people tend to use muscles in the hips when doing sit-ups. Sit-ups may also put a lot of pressure on the discs in your spine.

4. Try: Hamstring Stretches

Lie on your back and bend one knee. Loop a towel under the ball of your foot. Straighten your knee and slowly pull back on the towel. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Do 2 to 4 times for each leg.