Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:20

Stretches and Exercises to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

I find it ironic that humans are the only animal ‘lucky’ enough to walk upright, when so many suffer from lower back pain. I’ve got a slightly bulged disc in my lower back that was diagnosed in 2007. I've been through the whole process: X-Ray, MRI, pain medication, and physical therapy.

Some people suffer from lower back pain due to an injury or accident, I believe mine is mainly due to bad posture and lack of exercise. I seem to go through cycles; one week, I’m doing push-ups and sit-ups, my back feels great, and I start slacking on the exercise. I get lazy. Then the pain comes back and I start doing push-ups again. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I am entirely too cheap to purchase a gym membership, because I feel that a gym membership is a waste of money unless you are able to do 50 or 100 pushups without stopping and need actual exercise equipment to bring your fitness up to the next level. It bothers me when I hear of someone who pays to have their lawn mowed, but then also needs to join a gym to get some exercise. How about we cut out the middle-man and just mow your own lawn? I digress…

Here are the exercises that my Physical Therapist recommended for me. You’ll see that they are suggesting that I do most of these focusing on my right leg. I believe this is because my right leg is weaker (left-handed) and my body was out of alignment. So you may need to do both legs, or just one leg.

  • Back Extensions
  • Lumbar Rotation Stretch
  • Pelvic Rotation: Contract / Relax
  • Stretching Inner Thigh / Groin
  • Piriformis (Supine)
  • Press Up
  • Arm / Leg Lift
  • Stretching: Hip Flexor (modified)

pdfClick here to download the stretches & exercises


rolling-pinUpdate 11/25/15:

I've found another tip that has been extremely helpful in managing my lower back pain.  It's a simple rolling pin.  I am able massage my own lower back with it, which has been great for working the kinks out.  I've had my wife massage my back, and it is always helpful, but the rolling pin allows me to work out the kinks on my own.  You can also use a "roller massager" (like this) from a local sporting goods store. 


Update 1/7/16

I've done some research into Yoga for lower back pain and I simply wanted to point out that there is a large overlap between the Physical Therapy exercises mentioned here compared to yoga.  Similar techniques, some folks will call it Yoga, some will call it PT.  The exception here is that Yoga and Chiropractic care combine a "spiritual" element.  Physical Therapy is a prescribed "if this, then that" mechanism.

Update 5/3/16

I've written an entirely new post after 3 visits to the chiropractor.  Click here to read it

Update 11/22/16

I've posted a new article discussing "correct" breathing and the importance of Yoga when discussing back pain, posture, and core strenthening.  Click here to read the "Science of Breath" article and be sure to download the free eBook mentioned in the article!

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.


Last modified on Thursday, 06 April 2017 15:28
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