The Blog
June 17, 2019

How to Do Back Pain Exercises That Relieve Back Problems

Back pain is one of the most frustrating and debilitating forms of discomfort that can affect us. Often, what begins as a mildly sore back can escalate into a chronic issue that hinders our ability to enjoy daily activities and live life to the fullest. Fortunately, several simple yet effective back pain exercises on how to help ease back pain.

We will explore some effective exercises designed to straighten, lengthen, and support your spine. These exercises will ensure you find relief from chronic pain while improving your overall health.

Understanding Back Pain

Back pains can stem from many possible sources, including muscle strain, ligament sprain, or issues with the spine itself, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Prolonged poor posture, heavy lifting, or sudden awkward movements can exacerbate these conditions, leading to persistent discomfort. 

Performing back exercises for back pain is essential for maintaining spinal health and preventing the problem from becoming chronic.

Back Pain Exercises for Spine Lengthening and Straightening

The most beneficial exercises for back pain are those that focus on straightening and lengthening the spine rather than those that involve curling or excessive bending. Here are some effective back-spine exercises:

Straight Leg Hamstring Stretches

This spine stretch helps keep your spine flat and strengthens the supporting muscles. To perform this stretch:

  1. Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  2. Slowly lift one leg, keeping it straight, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  3. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, and then lower your leg.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.

Wall Sits

Wall sits are excellent straightening spine exercises while strengthening your abdominal muscles. To perform a wall sit:

  1. Stand with your back against a wall and position your feet approximately twelve inches away from the wall.
  2. Slowly lower your body into a squat, ensuring your back remains in contact with the wall.
  3. Maintain this squat for 20-30 seconds, increasing the squat hold time as you develop more strength.
  4. Rise back to a standing position and perform the exercise again.

These exercises are more beneficial than activities like planks or leg lifts, which can place too much strain on your lower back without adequate support.

Back Pain Exercises with Slow and Gentle Stretches

When doing back exercises to relieve back pain, it's crucial to choose slow and gentle stretches over rapid, jerky movements. Here are some stretches to decompress the spine:

Serpent Pose

The serpent pose, derived from yoga, is excellent for gentle spinal decompression exercise. To perform this stretch:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands placed under your shoulders.
  2. Slowly raise your chest off the ground, extending your spine and keeping your hips on the floor.
  3. Hold the position for a few breaths, and then lower yourself back down.
  4. Repeat the stretch several times, ensuring each movement is controlled and gentle.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

This exercise is very effective for relieving lower back pain. To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

  1. Lie on your back. With your knees bent, keep your feet resting flat on the floor.
  2. Gently pull one knee towards your chest, grasping it with both hands.
  3. Maintain this position for 20-30 seconds, then gradually return your leg to the floor.
  4. Perform the same movement with the other leg. For an enhanced stretch, pull both knees towards your chest at the same time and hold the position.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is another gentle yoga stretch that can relieve back pain. To perform this stretch:

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor with your big toes together and your buttocks resting on your heels.
  2. Stretch your arms forward and carefully lower your upper body between your thighs, extending your hands as far as you can.
  3. Hold the position for a few breaths, feeling the stretch along your spine and lower back.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Back Pain Exercises That Strengthens Core and Leg Muscles

Strengthening your core and leg muscles is essential for supporting your lower back. When these muscles are strong, they take some of the load off your back, reducing pain and preventing further injury. Here are some stretches to straighten the lower back:

Bridge Exercise

The bridge exercise strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. To perform this exercise:

  1. Lie on your back. Keep your knees bent with feet must be balanced on the floor.
  2. Clench your abdominal muscles as you lift your hips upwards. Form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  3. Hold the position for a few seconds. Slowly lower your hips to the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times, ensuring each movement is controlled and deliberate.

Bird-Dog Exercise

The bird-dog exercise improves balance and stability while strengthening your core and lower back. To perform this exercise:

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Keep your wrists aligned under your shoulders and have your knees under the hips.
  2. Extend your right arm forward. Put your left leg backward and keep your spine neutral.
  3. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the normal position.
  4. Repeat with your other arm and leg.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times on each side, focusing on maintaining balance and control.

Side Plank

The side plank targets your oblique muscles, which are crucial for supporting your spine. To perform a side plank:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs extended and your elbow under your shoulder.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground. Make sure you form a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, then lower your hips back to the ground.
  4. Repeat on the other side, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength.

How to Relieve Back Pain: Tips for Safe and Effective Back Pain Exercises

When incorporating back exercises into your routine, you have to follow some basic guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness:

  1. Warm-Up: Begin with a gentle warm-up to ready your muscles and joints. You can do light cardio, like walking or slow jogging, as well as dynamic stretches.
  2. Emphasize Proper Form: To prevent injury, ensure your body alignment is correct and perform each exercise with control and precision.
  3. Avoid Overexertion: Pay attention to your body's signals. If any exercise causes you discomfort, stop immediately and make sure to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
  4. Maintain Consistency: Regular exercise is crucial for long-term back pain relief. Aim to do these exercises at least 3-4 times per week.
  5. Progress Gradually: As your strength improves, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercises. Avoid sudden increases to prevent muscle strain.
  6. Consult a Professional: If you're unsure about performing an exercise correctly or have a specific condition, consider asking help from a physical therapist for personalized guidance.

What to Do for Back Pain: Living Life Without Back Aches

Reducing back pain through targeted back pain exercises is not only possible but highly recommended. By choosing the right exercises that straighten and lengthen your spine, engaging in slow and gentle stretches, and strengthening your core and leg muscles, you can relieve back pain.

If these exercises do not provide the relief you seek, consider scheduling a consultation with Royal Spine Surgery for further evaluation and personalized treatment options.

Dr. Abdulhamid


Dr. Abdulhamid

Dr. Abdulhamid is a highly skilled and experienced board-certified neurosurgeon with a passion for providing exceptional spine care. He specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and has a reputation for achieving outstanding results for his patients. His commitment to excellence and patient-centered approach have earned him the trust and respect of his patients and colleagues alike.

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