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What Is the Best Exercise for Lower Back Pain? 7 Best Exercises

exercises for lower back pain
Here are the seven best exercises for relieving and preventing lower back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the most common health problems that people face today. Keeping yourself physically active and including regular stretching into your daily routine can help to reduce and prevent future back pain. Deep stretching reduces muscle tension around the spine, which is essential for lower back pain relief.

The best treatment of acute onset lower back pain is rest, fomentation with an ice or cold pack and avoid sitting in one posture for long. Doctors advise exercises to prevent lower back pain and not treat it.

7 Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Trunk twist

You can do it either sitting up or lying down, whichever is more comfortable for you. The idea is to twist your torso to stretch out the tight muscles.

  1. Lie on your back
  2. Lift your right knee to the chest
  3. Stretch your right arm straight
  4. Turn your body to the left
  5. Lower your right leg as far as possible

Avoid this exercise if you have a history of disc prolapse.

Cat and cow pose

  • This alternates between two important stretches (arching the back and rounding it). These twin movements stretch the muscles around the spine, providing much-needed relief for the lower back, particularly if your pain is caused by sciatica
  • This pose stretches the hips and abs as well.

Big toe pose

This is a gentle stretch that immediately opens up the lower back.

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend forward on a deep exhale.
  3. Clasp your big toes and bring your nose to your shin.

A simple modification is to rest your hands on your thighs and fold forward as far as you are comfortable. In either case, be careful not to round your back.

Child’s pose

  1. Kneel on the floor or yoga mat with your feet together.
  2. Recline until you're sitting on your heels, leaving some space between your feet. 
  3. Recline forward, aiming to rest your chest on your thighs.

Don't push it if it feels too difficult. The more you practice stretching your lower back, the easier it will become.

Runner’s stretch

  1. Begin this stretch by sitting on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Turn your right leg out and bend your right knee, bringing your right foot up to rest on the instep of your left knee.
  3. Lean forward and grab both of your left toes (or your left calf if you don't have the flexibility to reach that far), feeling the stretch down your back.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Golf swing

  1. Place your knee in the corner of the wall, or as close to it as possible.
  2. Raise your other leg, which may be difficult at first, so you may need to bend forward. However, as the muscles relax, you will be able to straighten.

Doing this stretch two times a day for two minutes on each side will help keep your hip flexors loose. This means less low back pain and more turning flexibility in your golf swing.

Figure 4

  1. Begin by facing the back of a chair, table or sturdy towel rack.
  2. Cross your right foot over your left knee, bending your right knee out to the side to form the number “4” with your legs.
  3. Bend your left knee, extend your lower body and sink into the stretch, rounding your spine and pulling away from the support to deepen the stretch in your lower back while keeping the support in front of you.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

When should I consult a doctor to relieve back spasms?

In general, it's good to see a doctor if you don't feel better after three days (72 hours). Additionally, if you experience the following symptoms along with back muscle spasms, contact your doctor.

  • Controlling your bowel or bladder function becomes difficult all of a sudden.
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs causes you to feel unstable when walking and reduces the distance you can walk.
  • You feel pain and numbness down your arms or legs, which worsens especially when you sneeze, cough or sit down.
  • You experience an inability to sleep at night due to increased pain when lying down.
  • When you have muscle spasms, you may have a fever, weight loss or other symptoms of illness.

What are the simple tips to prevent back spasms?

Simple and common preventative measures for back spasms may include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight as per your height and age.
  • Maintain a proper posture and use ergonomic aids as needed, which provide stability and strength that our back requires, potentially reducing the risk of back spasms.
  • Engage in a back and core muscle stretching and strengthening program, as well as participate in some form of cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, that will help keep the back muscles healthy.
  • Warm up and cool down properly before and after exercise, which can help prevent muscle fatigue, sprains and injuries.
  • Doctors usually advise proper lifestyle management, such as staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.

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