back pain

6 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN THE LOWER BACK

Doing exercises can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. People with lower back pain should also pay attention to their general posture and how they carry heavy objects to identify movements that may be responsible. Anyone experiencing lower back pain that is severe or does not go away with gentle stretches and exercise should make an appointment with a doctor. If any of these back exercises make the pain worse, it is vital to stop doing them immediately and consult a doctor. Below are 6 exercises that strengthen the lower back and may help people manage lower back pain:

  • 1. Bridges

To perform a bridge:

  • Lie on the ground and bend the knees, placing the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Press the feet into the floor, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Raise the buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  • Squeeze the buttocks with the shoulders remaining on the floor.
  • Lower the buttocks to the ground and rest for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times and then rest for 1 minute.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • 2. Knee-to-chest stretches

To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

  • Lie on the back on the floor.
  • Bend the knees, keeping both feet flat on the floor.
  • Use both hands to pull one knee in toward the chest.
  • Hold the knee against the chest for 5 seconds, keeping the abdominals tight and pressing the spine into the floor.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Repeat with each leg 2–3 times twice a day.
  • 3. Lower back rotational stretches

To perform the lower back rotational stretch:

  • Lie back on the floor with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
  • Keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to one side.
  • Hold the position for 5–10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Gently roll the bent knees over to the opposite side, hold, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2–3 times on each side twice a day.
  • 4. Draw-in maneuvers

To perform the draw-in maneuver:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Breathe in deeply.
  • While breathing out, pull the belly button toward the spine, tightening the abdominal muscles and keeping the hips still.
  • Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.
  • 5. Pelvic tilts

To perform this lower back flexibility exercise:

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Gently arch the lower back and push the stomach out.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Flatten the back and pull the belly button in toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Increase the number of repetitions daily, building up to 30.
  • 6. Lying lateral leg lifts

To perform lying lateral leg lifts:

  • Lie on one side with the legs together.
  • Keep the lower leg slightly bent.
  • Draw the bellybutton into the spine to engage the core muscles.
  • Raise the top leg about 18 inches (about 46 cm), keeping it straight and extended.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Turn onto the other side of the body and repeat, lifting the other leg.
  • Perform 3 sets on each side. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/

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