Experiencing lower back pain? Physical therapy exercises can play a crucial role in helping you find relief. Lower back pain can come from many different sources. Poor posture, injuries and chronic conditions are some of the potential underlying causes. When you are experiencing lower back pain, finding effective treatment is important. Physical therapy can offer a range of treatment options for lower back pain, including manual therapy and targeted exercises. Maintaining an exercise routine between sessions can significantly boost your improvement progress. By learning how to do the right exercises, you can work to relieve your pain.
Top physical therapy exercises for lower back pain
- Pelvic tilts — Pelvic tilts are meant to help strengthen the muscles in your lower back and abdomen. These muscles work to support your spine and core. Pelvic tilts start in a lying position. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis toward your chest, engaging your abdominal muscles. You should feel your lower back pressing into the floor. Hold the tilt for a few seconds before relaxing. Your physical therapist may recommend doing this exercise in sets of 10 to 20 repetitions. Like other exercises, the frequency will depend on your condition and goals.
- Cat-cow stretch — The cat-cow stretch is a controlled movement between two positions. Start in a neutral tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor. Next, inhale as you lift your head and tailbone. Let your abdomen lower into an arch. This is the cow position. From here, exhale as you raise and round your back. Try to tuck your chin and tailbone in the same fluid motion. This move is the transition to the cat position. Continue stretching between the two poses with each inhale and exhale. As a gentle exercise, the cat-cow stretch can be great for people recovering from a major injury. By promoting flexibility in your spine, this physical therapy exercise can alleviate lower back pain.
- Quadruped leg lift — Want a lower back exercise that also works out your glutes? The quadruped leg lift is an excellent option. To do this exercise, start in a tabletop position. Lift one leg backward, keeping it straight. This leg should form a straight line with your back. From this position you can slowly lower the leg without letting it touch the floor. Once your toes are about an inch from the floor, raise the leg again. Try to repeat around 10 times with each leg.
- Pelvic clock exercise — The pelvic clock exercise can enhance your body awareness and improve mobility. By strengthening your lower back muscles, it can be an effective exercise for pain in the region. Your physical therapy treatment plan may include some variation of this exercise to be practiced at home. To start, lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Start to gently rock your pelvis in one direction, then another. The exercise is called the pelvic clock because the directions can be easily imagined in terms of clock positions. You can roll your pelvis from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock for example, or from 3 to 9. By rolling your pelvis in each direction, you can test your overall range of motion. Do this exercise for a few minutes at a time, focusing on keeping your movements smooth.
- Superman exercise — The superman exercise can be a great way to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Building strength in this region can help prevent future painful injuries. If you are looking for physical therapy exercises that address lower back pain, the superman exercise is a popular choice. To start, lie facedown on the floor. Extend your arms out in front of you. Arch your back slightly while lifting your arms and legs off the floor. Hold your arms and legs up for a few seconds before lowering. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and upper legs. You may also feel some stretching in your abdomen. After lowering your arms and legs, try to do the exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions.
Lattimore Physical Therapy can help you learn exercises for lower back pain
Lower back pain can have a big impact on your daily life. At Lattimore Physical Therapy, you can explore effective solutions including targeted exercises. Your physical therapist can help guide you through each exercise in your personal treatment plan. With the right guidance and techniques, you can work toward lasting health benefits and pain relief.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.