Fitness Plans

Relieve Back Pain

Steps to Relieve Lower Back Pain with Exercise and Stretching

Maybe you don’t have any painful experiences that ruined your back. Maybe you just have poor posture and a weak core, and your back pain developed over time.

Either way, it can be crippling. Even basic movements like standing up or lying down feel extremely uncomfortable, not to mention working out or lifting something heavy.

The thing is that treating general lower back pain comes down to the same 4 basic steps:

Stretch your hips

When the muscles around your hips are tight, your body often compensates with increased movement, particularly flexion, in the lumbar spine. When you have back pain, this will hurt and prevent any healing.

To address this issue you must stretch your hips and increase the flexibility of several key muscles in the hips. Do these 3 stretches once or twice a day, holding each one for 30 seconds.

Hip flexor stretch Hamstring stretch Piriformis stretch

Strengthen your core

Our core is made up of – for the most part – our abs, butt, and lower back. When any of these areas are weak, the others must pick up the slack. Unfortunately a lot of people have weak abs and butts, often leading to tension in the lower back.

Here are 3 basic exercises to strengthen your abs and butt. Use them every other day.

  • Keep your body in a straight line
  • Consciously focus on bracing your stomach and feeling the tension there
  • Work up to being able to hold this for 60 seconds
  • Then progress by placing a weight on your back (start with 25 lb.)

Side plank

  • Keep your hips high so that your body is in a straight line
  • Tighten the stomach and focus on feeling the tension there (mainly on the bottom half)
  • Work up to being able to hold for 45 seconds on each side

Glute bridge

  • Push your hips high
  • Focus on feeling the tension in your butt
  • Work up to being able to hold this for 60 seconds
  • Then progress by placing a weighted barbell on your hip crease

Improve your posture

The important step to relieving lower back pain takes a conscious effort throughout the day. Poor posture puts strain on your neck, shoulders, and back (upper and lower). Here’s what basic good posture comes down to:

Chest stretch Neck stretch

  • Hold the crown of your head high
  • Pull your shoulders back and prevent them from rolling forward
  • Avoid slouching (usually a combination of the above two points)

Here are a couple of useful stretches to perform to aid you in correcting poor posture. Hold them each for 30 seconds, once per day.

Neck stretch

  • Roll your head forward and to one side
  • Keep your arm on the opposite side down and relaxed
  • Use your hand on the same side to gently pull your head down
  • You should feel the stretch starting up behind your ear and going down through your neck

Disclaimer: All plans included in this section are generic and would require consultation with an expert before being adopted.