Top 5 exercises to prevent a low back pain, by our in-house physio Bozena
- Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Do you struggle with a back problem?
Many of our clients come to see us because of a low back pain or stiffness. Regular massage can help to ease up the stiffness and bring a pain relief. However, in order to keep the back strong and healthy outside of the treatment room, our in-house physiotherapist, Bozena, has prepared a list of advice on how to prevent back pain and what exercises can be done at home to manage existing conditions.
How can you prevent lower back pain?
- Keep your back strong
Strong back and core muscles are important to provide support for the spine and stay injury-free
- Correct posture
Poor posture places pressure on your back and can cause degenerated discs to become more painful
- Lift heavy objects correctly
Even if you're young and strong, you can still injure your lower back if you lift a heavy object incorrectly
- Stretch your muscles
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, our muscles get shortened and become tight which leads to dangerous injuries.
Simple back exercises and stretches you can do at home to help ease lower back pain and improve your strength and flexibility. Regularly stretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spine is an important element of all back exercise programs
1. Bottom to heels stretch
Start position: Kneel on all fours, with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Try to keep your back and neck fairly straight, and don't lock your elbows
Action: Slowly move your bottom back towards your heels. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position
Repeat 8 to 10 times
- avoid going right back onto your heels if you have a knee problem
- ensure correct positioning with the help of a mirror
- only stretch as far as feels comfortable
2. Knee rolls
Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small flat cushion underneath if you prefer. Keep your knees bent and together. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in
Action: Roll your knees to one side, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position
Repeat 8 to 10 times, both sides
- only move as far as feels comfortable
- place a pillow between your knees for comfort
3. Deep abdominal strengthening
Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion underneath if you prefer. Bend your knees, keeping your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in
Action: As you breathe out, gently tense the muscles in your pelvis and lower tummy so they're pulled up towards your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and relax
Repeat 5 times
- this is a slow, gentle exercise – don't try to tense your muscles too quickly or too hard
- make sure you don't tense up through the neck, shoulders or legs
4. Supine Knee Twist
Start position: Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out
Action: Bend the right knee up and cross it over the left side of your body. Hold in a position that allows you to feel a gentle stretch through the back and buttocks muscles for 20 seconds. Rotate back to the center
Repeat 3 times on each side
5. Hamstring stretch- Tight hamstring muscles are a common contributor to lower back pain and should be a part of lower back stretching regime
Start position: Lie on the floor on your back. Loop a long bath towel around your toes and hold the ends of the towel in both hands
Action: Slowly pull on the towel to lift your straight leg up. Be sure to keep your knee straight. The leg without the towel should remain flat on the ground.
Bring your leg up until a stretch is felt behind your thigh. You may also feel a stretch behind your lower leg in your calf
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, and then relax
Repeat three to five times on each leg
- remember that the hamstring stretch should feel good as you are doing the exercise. If it causes pain, stop immediately and check in with your therapist
As with any exercises, regularity is a key. Doing the stretches often, even daily, will ensure your lower back pain should ease within 2 weeks and it usually passes completely after approximately 4-6 weeks. Sports and Deep Tissue Massage can help to complement the exercises and keep your back muscles in a good working order. To read more about back pain and how we can help you, click here.